NORTH CAROLINA — Police say the owner of a 12-gauge shotgun forgot to unload the weapon before he brought it to a Raleigh, North Carolina gun show to sell. What happened when he went to check in sent three people to the hospital.
The shotgun went off at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, hitting three people, including a retired Wake County deputy.
Investigators say minutes before the commotion, Gary Wilson of Wilmington brought his gun inside the Jim Graham building to have it inspected by law enforcement. He planned to sell it. The gun was in a case and when Wilson opened the case for inspection, the gun went off, just a few feet from Emory Lewis.
“When I turned around, I heard the gun hit the table and when I heard the gun hit the table I heard the shot went off and the guy that was standing right in front of me about as far as you are from me now, it went through his hand and then I heard a lady hollering and it went through her side somewhere,” Lewis said.
A 54-year-old woman was shot in the torso, and a 50-year-old man and the retired deputy (age 54) were each shot in the hand.
It is unclear whether Wilson will face charges, but fairgrounds safety officials say what is clear is the shot was fired before any law enforcement had the opportunity to inspect the gun.
After the accident, the gun show was closed for the day. The show reopened Sunday, with no private gun sales and personal guns not allowed on the property.
Another gun show shooting occurred at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds, when a 54-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the hand after leaving the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show.
Officials say the man was reloading his gun in the parking lot when it went off.
He’s hospitalized in stable condition.
In Ohio, a visitor brought in a loaded handgun and handed it to a gun show exhibitor. The gun went off — hitting a man in the arm.
The organizer says he has been promoting gun shows for 35 years and has never seen this happen.