Police respond to two accidental shootings

2013-03-04T12:24:00Z 2013-03-04T19:43:08Z Police respond to two accidental shootingsAndrea Cook Journal staff Rapid City Journal
March 04, 2013 12:24 pm  • 

Two men were shot by their own guns last weekend and a third attracted a police visit when he was pointing his new gun outside of Kohl's department store in Rapid City.

None of the men were arrested or cited, but police said the two men who suffered the self-inflicted wounds were treated at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

The string of gun-related calls began at 5:30 p.m. Friday when a customer at Kohl's called police and said she saw a man handling a gun while sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot.

It turned out, police said, that he was simply inspecting a new gun he had just purchased while his wife was shopping in the store.

Later Friday night, police received a call that a 42-year-old man had shot himself in the hand while working on a gun in his home at 3113 Grandview Drive.

The bullet traveled through the victim’s hand and lodged in the wall of a residence, according to police. The victim was able to transport himself to the hospital.

The third incident was perhaps the most potentially dangerous. It happened on Monday morning when the handgun of a 20-year-old man discharged while he was adjusting his holster and sitting in a car with two others at 215 Mount Rushmore Road.

The bullet struck the 20-year-old man in the foot. No one else in the vehicle was injured, however. His companions took him to the hospital.

If alcohol had been involved in any of the incidents, it would have likely led to charges, police Capt. Dan Rud said Monday.

Possessing a firearm while intoxicated, even in your home, is a misdemeanor, he said.

The men who were injured handled the situation properly by calling police, Rud said. If they had not called authorities, the staff at the hospital would have made the call, he added.

“If you go to the doctor to have a wound treated, HIPAA does not apply,” Rud said. Under South Dakota law, all medical professionals are required to report gunshot wounds.

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. Hairy Cannonball
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    Hairy Cannonball - March 06, 2013 8:22 am
    Frank, what you are failing to see is that you are applying a different standard to firearm safety, than society applies to everything else. If we were to apply your ideals to power tool safety, for example, someone who cuts off a finger with a table saw should have power to their shop disconnected for 10 years. Or perhaps a contractor who shoots a framing nail into his hand should have his contractor license revoked for 10 years. Humans have been making mistakes and having accidents for all of history, and will continue for all of the future. Nothing we do can stop this. What we can stop is this hysteria over firearms.
  2. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - March 05, 2013 2:04 pm
    I'm surprised that many of my fellow gun owners think I am being unreasonable with my comment. The fact is, if one isn't competent enough to clear their weapon, or holster it without shooting themselves, they are not competent enough to own it. There should be a harsh and strict penalty for that kind of negligence. Many voices here would probably agree with me had a life (or lives) been lost. And the fact of the matter is, lives are lost every day from these unfortunate ... accidents.
  3. SportGunner
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    SportGunner - March 05, 2013 8:57 am
    @MsKathleen... Training is always a great thing. However, the worst offenders of safety violations aren't the untrained, but the uncommitted and complacent. They believe the rules don't apply to them and/or that there are exceptions. They believe that they handle guns so often that such things would never happen to them. The worst offenders tend to be those you would expect the most of: police, current or prior military, and the "I've been handling guns/hunting my whole life" crowd. They don't lack the knowledge that training provides. They lack obedience to the rules.
  4. MsKathleen
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    MsKathleen - March 05, 2013 7:27 am
    Frank, that is so unreasonable. I think all guns owners should be required to take a class on how to handle a gun if they want to purchase one. My husband and I had our kids go through hunter safety classes just in case they ever wanted to hunt. My husband is a hunter. Only one of our sons likes to hunt but our daughter owns a handgun and it's nice to know she's been through the training and knows how to handle a gun. These accidents could have been easily prevented if the gun owners knew how to handle a gun - but even with that accidents do happen and thankfully know one was majorly harmed.
  5. Man with hole in hand
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    Man with hole in hand - March 05, 2013 2:32 am
    I'm sorry if I made the rest of you "responsible" gun owners look bad. It's an antique gun I was working on that got a bullet jammed due to a faulty ejector, but you are wrong to aassume that I am an irresponsible gun owner. Have you ever had an accident in your car where it was your fault (that you will admit to)? Well then, you're making the rest of us responsible drivers look B. A. D.
  6. SportGunner
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    SportGunner - March 04, 2013 10:41 pm
    These incidents are not accidents. They are acts of negligence precipitated by a disregard of the core, fundamental rules of gun handling. Negligent discharges are the expected outcome of carelessness and complacency.

    Be warned by the example of others. Be reminded...

    1) All guns are ALWAYS loaded.
    2) You're finger should not be placed on the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.
    3) Never point the gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
    4) Be certain of your target and what lies beyond it.
  7. Dulous
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    Dulous - March 04, 2013 10:19 pm
    Well, you can't fix stupid
  8. Fighter
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    Fighter - March 04, 2013 8:28 pm
    All great comments......... well, except for the first one.
  9. NelagT
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    NelagT - March 04, 2013 8:26 pm
    An earlier version of this story reported the second incident happened at 11:30 PM on Friday night...precisely when I like to perform maintenance on my handgun...sober, of course.
  10. amurrican
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    amurrican - March 04, 2013 6:57 pm
    Guns dont shoot people its people who dont know what their doing who shoot thereself and make's the rest of us responsable gun owner's look b.a.d.!
  11. johnlhillcity
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    johnlhillcity - March 04, 2013 6:18 pm
    I agree with Scharfshutze they had a accident they did not break any law and did the right thing in calling the police they should not be punished more. But is does point out that the need to be careful is very important and can never be over done.
  12. Scharfschutze
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    Scharfschutze - March 04, 2013 5:38 pm
    By the logic of a previous comment, if you are involved as a motor vehicle operator in a fender-bender accident, then you should have your driver's license revoked for 10 years, and in fact you should be disqualified from even owning a motor vehicle for a period of 10 years, IMO.

    Sounds pretty silly, doesn't it?
  13. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - March 04, 2013 2:55 pm
    If either man was issued a concealed pistol permit, it (or they) should be revoked for 10 years. Shooting yourself should disqualify your from even owning a gun for a period of 10 years, IMO.
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