Gun Appreciation Day Show Ends in Accidental Shooting, 3 Injured

A seller's gun discharged as he was pulling it out of its case

An accidental shooting has marked the show for Gun Appreciation Day which took place on Saturday, January 19, in North Carolina, at the State Fairgrounds.

36-year-old Gary Lynn Wilson of Wilmington set out to sell a 12-gauge shotgun at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show. As WRAL reports, the weapon discharged as he was attempting to pull it out of the case.

3 people have been injured in the incident, at 1 p.m., according to police reports. A member of the gun show staff, retired Wake Forest sheriff's deputy Jake Alderman, is among those injured in the accident.

“I want to emphasize that this was an accident. [...] At the time, no employee, no officer had inspected that gun.

“If we thought that it was a problem or a hazard or was dangerous, we would not have this show,” police chief with the State Department of Agriculture Joel Keith explains.

Alderman has sustained a minor injury, for which he was treated at WakeMed North Healthplex, having been released on the same day.

50-year-old Linwood Hester of Durham has his left hand hit, while 54-year-old Janet Hoover of Benson has also been struck by the weapon loaded with birdshot shells. Hester, Alderson and Hoover have been hit by the same slug.

“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 went through his hand. Then I heard a lady hollering– it went through her side somewhere,” witness Emory Lewis describes.

“People didn't panic. [...] People acted very responsibly, and I couldn't have asked the officers to have acted any better,” Keith reiterates.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office will decide whether charges will be field against the owner of the gun.

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