The New Year Brings New Accidental Shootings

220px-Criminologygunglock180px-San_Diego_FireworksA few days after the tragic shooting of a mother in Wal-Mart by her two-year-old son in Idaho, we have two additional negligent shooting in California and Georgia. These cases present differences how such shooting cases are handled. In California, a man was arrested after his girlfriend was hit by a celebratory New Year’s shot while in Georgia a wife was hit by a round fired by a local police chief. [Update: Sheriff McCollum now says that he was moving the gun while in bed when it discharged twice].

Stephen Lucas, 24, was arrested after he fired a gun at midnight to celebrate the New Year and the round somehow hit his girlfriend. He now faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter, among other felony charges. She died 20 hours into 2015. They have a toddler together who is now without a mother or a father.

ht_police_chief_shooting_jc_150101_4x3_992In Georgia, the Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom called 911 to report that he had shot his wife. She is in critical condition.

The obvious difference between the two cases is that Lucas was engaged in a clearly illegal act when he negligently fired the weapon. He appears to be one of the many morons who fire weapons to celebrate despite the obvious risk to others. That makes this more than simple negligence for Lucas.

Source: CBS and Fox

73 thoughts on “The New Year Brings New Accidental Shootings”

  1. Annie,
    Why is the Chief of Police that insecure he feels compelled to be armed at all times?
    Why is that Chief of Police that insecure he feels compelled to sleep with his service gun loaded with the safety off?

    What was wrong with a home alarm system and the gun in the side night stand?
    And the police wonder why citizens lack faith and trust in the PD’s?
    Answer: Lack of critical thought processes. They act on instinct and not reason.

    His instinct: I’m not safe in my own home… take my gun to bed.
    Lack of reason: Take my gun to bed loaded and unlocked.

    What ever could go wrong…?

    We’ll see what the victim has to say about that night and the status of their relationship prior.

  2. While I was writing the just posted note, I think the “in bed” with a gun issue came up.

    Actually, that situation is not all that unusual. When I cleaned out my Dad’s house (a widower) after his death, there was the loaded hair trigger .38 in easy reach in the night stand. He lived in the little town of Salem Utah….quiet, safe. But, he was a WW-II B-17 POW survivor……

    As I tell the story with a bit of humor, it’s not unusual to hear that others sleep in much the same way.. It’s kind of like being a priest at a clergy gathering and mentioning how much you enjoy sci-fi. Then a host of other clergy come out of the closet.

    One might be surprised to discover how many clergy (across denominational lines) carry concealed weapons or at least have the permit and the weapon in the car. It’s like bringing up sci-fi, but takes a little more coaxing and even then be a friend in “good” standing.

    Remember, at least one of Jesus’s close followers had been openly carrying a weapon of the day (sword) and accidentally “shot off” a guy’s ear. My point being that the weapon was there and almost certainly had been in the past.

    My house is alarmed…having been burgled more than once. There are small arms here too… one instance in another city when the alarm went off, the thief continued into the house. The police will tell you the obvious. The alarm indicates what’s going down….it does not cause the police to appear like a genie. A lot can happen in just a couple of minutes or less

  3. Father Morrissey, Wow! I sensed you were a person who had a lot to contribute, which is why I encouraged you to continue. Great comment. You real life experiences are fascinating. Keep them coming. I don’t want to wade to deeply into your expertise but, I would sum up much of what you just said to the quote our mom would often say to her 4 kids, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” She raised 4 independent kids who all rail against the victimhood culture that is a cancer in our culture.

  4. Hopefully, this thread won’t be hijacked by cop haters because the story is juicy. The victim of this shooting divorced the chief 15 years ago. He married a rabbi, who was a chaplain in the dept. he worked. The rabbi divorced the chief when he engaged in an extramarital affair. The victim, recently, got back together w/ the chief. That was a mistake!

  5. Bettykath, amazing how these people weren’t shot dead like the other guy with a BB gun on Walmart. How is it that a 12 year old boy with a pellet gun gets shot and killed seconds after cops arrive at the scene?

  6. A couple of things. Just to stir the pot and maybe get you to the end of this (Now very long) post, I’ll start with……

    In the multiple shootings, it’s not the instruments, it’s the people. Not the shooters though. Whoa, you say.

    My thesis here is that our increasingly metaphorical sheeplike behavior breeds multiple or mass gun deaths.

    I grew up in Montana. (Now no sheep jokes here.) Got a driver’s license at 14.5 yrs old and the State had no speed limits. At high school most guys drove hand-me-down pickups with gun racks WITH GUNS SHOWING. Usually shotguns (.410 or 20 gauge) or .22 ..or maybe a larger bore scoped hunting rifles. In grade school most guys had small buck knives on their belts or jack knives in pockets…usually played mumbly-peg during recess or lunch break. Teachers kept taking away our marbles…too noisy in our desks. Never did get my prize “Cat’s Eye” shooter back at the end of the 5th grade year.

    At 15 we visited the Bay Area. At 16 we moved to California, and I kept my Montana license and played dumb…when stopped by CHP I was just a tourist and ……kept my guns (.38, 30-06, .22LR and 12 gauge) in the closet. At 14 I had taken a gun safety course. Also had a toddler brother who got into everything but bullets.

    Through all of those early years only one accidental shooting (not me), and my friend lived as it was a .22 at a distance and hit a rib. Kids rabbit hunting.

    Again, it’s not the instruments. They are all over the place, have been and will be.

    It’s the people. Notice that there are no more airplane hijacks in the US; people rise up. They now know inaction is absolutely fatal. (There has been ersatz “public service training” through the reenactments of Flight 93.) I wonder what would happen if we actually had some public service training in how to respond to a shooter. Empower the innocents ….”Let’s roll.”

    Start throwing things at the shooter and charge. Text books stop bullets. Flying classroom chairs…restaurant chairs divert the aim and intention.. In a theater, throw the drinks, shoes, coats, anything, spray the popcorn, charge the shooter. Lying docile on the floor or behind a desk has been proven non-effective. You’re now on the ground and just as dead. I’d much rather see (be!) wounded and injured survivors. My background taught me to always surveil and see options. I guess it started as a 17 yr old life guard and pulling people out of the water. Years later, I saw a baby choking and a mother frantically trying to get food out its mouth. They were on the other side of the airport restaurant amongst other customers. Nobody was “seeing” it or froze. But, my flight was being called. But, nobody was responding. Oh well, I went over took the infant out of her arms, laid it’s belly across my forearm and compressed firmly twice. Bunch of slimy French fries spurted out. Took my brief case and hat and caught my plane as it was boarding. I smiled as I heard her “thank you” behind me. I was in my Navy officer dress blues leaving Norfolk and blended into the group. I really wanted to go home. In today’s world, I wonder what lawsuit could have followed…bruising the baby, etc.. Still wouldn’t stop me.

    Back to an earlier thread re. the Ferguson kid arsonist, two “little old ladies” stopped the torching of two separate establishments in the face of mobs. Two of the “weaker” or “fairer” sex stopped them….one gal was pouring one milk container after another on the fire as the thug was trying to light it. (Now with some temporal distance, I envision a scene that has possibilities for morbid humor in the hands of the right director. Place it in a white rebel Irish neighborhood with Judy Dench and the young guy from Breaking Bad. Or keep in a Black setting…Tina Turner and Snoop Dogg). Church leaders? Yep, still hunkered down and praying but not much else. Remember Jesus and the money changers.. Christ didn’t sit outside and pray for them.

    We usually see Jesus praying as part of his preparation or following action, part of his resting. He didn’t kneel and pray as that woman was about to get stoned to death. In another account, He even spat on dirt, made mud and restored sight. Imagine a proper city dweller doing that….. Might have to put down the tablet or smartphone and actually interact eyeball to eyeball. Watch the city sidewalk crowds with eye contact, if anybody is looking up.

    Folks there is no app (law, IOS, Android or Windows) that will stop incidences of rogue killers intent on mass killings. Banning assault weapons or large high capacity magazines won’t do it

    If you’re one who can’t get out, you’re it. The killings occur in minutes or less.

    Years ago in New Orleans, before Katrina, the police went on TV and told people that they could run a stop light or sign if a group of men were standing around. Not unusual to get brick in the windshield then robbed in broad daylight. Finally two guys were shot through the windshield by a driver, police only needed to wait for the hospital reports then recover the “tags.” Corner brick incidences dried up soon after. THE SHEEP BIT BACK. We were living there at the time.

    In her high-school sophomore year (in Montana again) our daughter got patted on the butt by a varsity linebacker. The 5’7″ 125 lb girl turned, grabbed him, slammed him against the lockers and gave a “little lecture” in a very load voice. No more girls got patted. She is now an executive in a Fortune 10 company who has faced down guys who have tripped out. One was a PTSD returnee…..AND she made sure he got help and stayed on. Post incident shakes and sleepless nights for her ? Yep.

    Come to think of it….I can see a career police officer up at 4:15 AM …not sleeping….cleaning his primary method of defense. I can also see him reassembling it, slamming the clip in, cycling the slide and pulling the trigger and then the shock of his life. I did that once by the river with my M-16. Muscle memory ….habit. We train to see how fast we can disassemble or reassemble a weapon…especially semi-automatic and automatics. Often blindfolded as they can jam even at night. (Revolvers don’t.) In the “professions” they become part or an extension of your body. You literally feel naked without it. 25+yrs later I still get the “feeling.” As to the wounding of his wife…accident or intent ….can’t say. Just speaking to the time and weapon cleaning/discharge.

    1. Canon for Veterans Ministry – not sure if I grew up in Montana at the same time you did or in the same area, but since your reference sheep it was probably in the eastern portion of the state. My brother was involved in the only major gun incident while I was growing up. A friend was playing with his pistol and it discharged into his leg, severing an artery. They were about 5 miles from the car and 15 miles from town when it happened. They made it back just in time to save the kid’s leg. Knowing the ‘victim’ for the longest time I thought they shot him out of spite.

  7. So the gun was in bed with them? Why would they have a gun in bed with them? Wow. This chief sounds wayyyy to calm. Something is seriously off kilter.

  8. It would be nice to know the source in which Mr. Turley obtained his information about Chief of Police William McCollom was “cleaning his gun”. The 911 tape disputes Mr. Turley’s set of facts. Both were asleep. Gun was IN bed.

  9. Are the cops learning? or is this just proof of racism in the ranks? Or have the Blacks figured out that the only way for cops to be clever enough to take a gun toter into custody is for them to be white. No white person would shoot at others. [sarcasm, snark]

  10. While myself, and all others here have stated the cop shooting raises all types of red flags, it appears Isaac wants to go directly to sentencing. Isaac also raises red flags, as it were.

  11. Blankfien: There’s a great Wikipedia entry for Defensive Gun Use.

    The Kleck and Gertz study referenced in the entry estimates there are likely between 1 million and 2.5 million DGUs per year.

    You hear so much about gun tragedies because many in the media consider guns a menace. So for political reasons they exploit gun tragedies in an effort to move public opinion against guns. See, e.g., the media reports mentioned in this blog post.

    Here’s the Kleck and Gertz study, if you care.

    About 300 people died from a rifle shot in 2013, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. That includes the super scary “assault rifles” that Democrats are so frightened of that they want them banned.

    On a sadder note, about 6000 people die per year because morons negligently use their cell phones to text while driving. Those deaths get much less media exposure. I wonder why? Now, let me stipulate that most cell phone users use their phones responsibly, just as most gun owners are responsible. However, cell phones are currently killing 20x more people than rifles. If we banned cell phones, imagine how many children’s lives we’d save from premature death.

    Do you support banning cell phones to save the lives of innocent children? If not, why don’t you care about the children?

    1. Groty,

      You might not have been aware but wordpress only allows two links per comment. I edited yours to dereference some of them so that it would post. If you would like the readership to view more than two links, this may be accomplished in using additional comments.

  12. “GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang said initial reports suggested that McCollom shot his wife twice, but later information revealed she was shot once.

    Man, for a minute I thought we had Claudine Longet Redux.

  13. There’s an important fact missing from the story about the Sheriff… He “accidentally” shot his wife twice…

  14. “I am reminded of the ascent of Timothy McVeigh

    The left is always being reminded of the ascent of Timothy McVeigh, but he keeps landing among the Occupy/Socialists/Ferguson rioters and Muslims.

  15. Lloyd Blankfien …your list of statistics and sites seem to skip any regarding the vast majority of gun owners, with guns in their homes, let alone on their hip (as I do), who do not have AD’s or otherwise shoot people. To assert that a home with a gun is more likely, in double digit terms, to have a gun related fatality, ignores the thousands (millions?) of us who do not have such incidents. I’ve shot at people in anger, or least for survival, but that was back when they were also shooting at me…and I was in uniform. Even then, with the 2.5 million of us serving at the time, I know of only one idiotic shooting of another soldier in base camp when some dumb jerk was “playing” with his M16A1….this at a time when a large number of us carried our rifles, and in my case, pistol too, 24/7. That said I’ve read of more recent similar incidents in the military. Dumb is dumb. I was in the ER hallway of the Evac hospital I was in at the time and saw the results…half a head gone. Dude brought in solely for an official declaration of death….he’d been shot “accidentally” from less than 10 feet away. That little experience informed me further about weapon safety.

    When Cadre teaching very bright guys (Doctors and Lawyers YMMV 🙂 ) to shoot I counted every single cartridge issued, to a dozen dudes at a time, and matched it to the cases recovered. The range officer, usually a very senior NCO, would kick our butts if we did not account for every round, before and after firing. It was a good gig and I did not want to be expelled from it…in 1969 the alternatives were less pleasant than a warm site in Virgina…none the less, I eventually rotated to Asia and then to SE Asia. The “Forest Gumps” were far easier to teach. They tended to be more methodical and less likely to “save” a live round for play later, or to send to their girlfriends, whatever. When standing down we always shot purportedly “unloaded” rifles and pistols in to sand traps, barrels or old artillery casings set up like the ubiquitous pi$$ tubes. I know others experienced the same things, so I am not revealing anything “secret.”

  16. Darren … an excellent summary analysis and detail of proper procedures…albeit for a Glock. Unlike the Glock in all its iterations (plus others of similar mechanical design) … once you have verified no round is in the chamber, if you have a pistol with a real de-cocker mechanism, there is no need to pull the trigger to let the hammer down. You de-cock it. Pistols with real de-cocking mechanisms include the FNH FNX-45, the H&K large frame hammer fired semi-autos, the Beretta PX4 series, AND the only striker fired pistol out there with a true de-cocking mechanism (only IF you select the option…a result of engineering that is expensive like their guns) is the Walther P99…a true (optional) de-cocker enabled striker fired pistol …e.g., hammer or striker tension is released completely and the pistol is rendered double action for real for the first shot. These weapons cost between $800 and $1400+ per pistol, while Glocks and their clones sell between $450 and $750 at the most….and Glock will claim that their mechanism is actually “double action”…which is an untruth.

    I do NOT wish to start a debate with pleased Glock owners, who are satisfied with their “passive” safety features. I shoot regularly with owners of Glocks and sundry clones. The reason I dislike their choice of arms is simple, in my 50 odd years with semi-auto pistols I believe strongly there is no such thing as a “passive” safety…only manual versions, especially the true full tension release de-docker feature, are remotely “safe” to this old soldier. Even then, when I clean my FNX-45 and de-cock it, I aim at a pile of dirt or a pillow in front of a brick wall. Further, I go through the inspection drill Darren describes every time I pick up one of my pistols from its case, and for that holster pistol, I verify the safety is set, & de-cocked in the FNX-45’s case, every-time I place the holster on my belt.

    I’ve said most of this before, so I’ll shut up now. 🙂

  17. Pogo

    Or, he stands as an example of a danger. “We” his militia, there to take on the government because it is, “a real mess out there”.

    I am reminded of the ascent of Timothy McVeigh: anger, obsession to ‘do something about a perceived threat’, trained in fire arm use, etc.

    Or, he’s just a ‘good ole boy’.

  18. Boy did I learn about guns. The army way. Ft Bragg, NC. Scored a perfect shot on night time range qualifications.
    Reward ward was to clean 1000 M-16’s and M-60 machine guns.

    After that, orders were cut for special forces training. I asked the CO why me? He said you’re the perfect fit.
    New boss’s code name was Comanche. Nice guy, just don’t piss him off. I count my rounds, pop no clicks and clear the chamber, muzzle pointing down.

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