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 me...it 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.