October 20, 2014

Medina
Showers
44°F

Man wounded at gun show in Medina

MEDINA — A 62-year-old man was seriously injured Saturday afternoon when a pistol accidentally discharged at a gun show at the Medina County Fair Community Center.

Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said the shooting occurred about 3 p.m. when a gun dealer was attempting to unload a 9 mm semi-automatic Taurus pistol that he had purchased. He removed the magazine, worked the slide, but failed to see that a bullet was in the chamber, which fired when he pulled the trigger.

The bullet struck his partner, piercing his arm and groin.

Police have not released the name of the victim, who was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. A condition report was not available Saturday night.

The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, according to Berarducci.

Berarducci said charges will not be filed against the dealer.

“We have no reason to believe it’s anything other than simply a tragic accident,” he said.

Berarducci said the man who sold the pistol to the dealer has not been identified.

“Apparently he walked away before the gunshot went off, and the individual that bought the gun didn’t get identification,” the chief said.

Berarducci said a request has been made to trace the gun’s first owner through the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Berarducci said the promoter of the Medina gun show has asked police how they might improve safety at the events.

He said the gun show’s organizers have workers at the door checking guns to make sure they are safe.

“No firearms are supposed to come into the show loaded,” Berarducci said.

Jim Conrad, of Lodi, promoter of the show, said that in 35 years of putting on nine shows a year, this was the first time there had been a discharge of a firearm.

Conrad called the incident “a terrible one, but an accident between two friends nonetheless.”

The gun show will continue 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the county fair community center, 735 Lafayette Road.

Other accidental shootings Saturday at shows in North Carolina and Indiana left four people injured.

At the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as its owner unzipped its case for a law enforcement officer to check at a security entrance, injuring three people, state Agriculture Department spokesman Brian Long said.

Two bystanders were hit by shotgun pellets and taken to a hospital. A retired deputy sheriff suffered a slight hand injury.

The shotgun’s owner, 36-year-old Gary Lynn Wilson, brought the weapon to the show to find a private buyer, Long said. Sheriff Donnie Harrison said that it was too early to know whether Wilson might be charged but that it appeared to be an accident.

The North Carolina show, which is held at the state fairgrounds, is a quarterly event that usually draws thousands of people. The two-day show shut down early Saturday but will reopen Sunday.

In Indianapolis, police said a 54-year-old man was injured when he accidentally shot himself while leaving a gun show.

Emory L. Cozee was loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic when he shot himself in the hand as he was leaving the show at the state fairgrounds, state police said.

Cozee, of Indianapolis, was hospitalized for treatment. Police say the shooting was accidental and no charges will be filed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.