Skip to comments.Wrong lesson: Gun safety class ends with couple wounded (VA)
Posted on 04/23/2012 9:16:12 PM PDT by Perseverando
A firearms safety course went awry in Bedford County (VA) Saturday when a man shot himself in the hand with a .45-caliber handgun and the bullet passed through his hand and struck his wife, seated nearby, in the leg.
Shot were Michael L. Deel, 54, and Michelle K. Deel, 49, both of Roanoke. Emergency dispatchers in Bedford County received a call at 12:25 p.m. reporting a shooting on Chapel Woods Drive. The Bedford County Sheriffs Office said county rescue units and deputies responded.
The Deels were attending a firearms safety class being taught and hosted by Thomas F. Starke, 57, according to the department.
The sheriffs office said Starke told deputies that he had left the room, heard a shot and returned to find the Deels had been shot.
The couple was taken by ambulance to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
The shooting remains under investigation.
This guy left the room with a live weapon in the hands of students? Unreal.
The people running this class don't know what they are doing.
Step one should have been for the instructor to ensure that all students guns were unloaded and safe.
Ditto. I took the NRA handgun safety course. There was a big sign on the classroom door that read, "NO LOADED FIREARMS AND NO AMMUNITION OF ANY KIND ALLOWED IN CLASSROOM -- AND THIS MEANS YOU." We were also not allowed to use our own firearms during classroom instructors, rather we all used identical Ruger .22 Cal with dummy rounds provided by the instructor. Even when we moved to the range, we were not allowed to use our own firearms until we demonstrated proficiency with the firearms that the instructor provided us.
Keep your finger OFF the trigger unless you intend to fire your weapon. Its companion rule is guns are always loaded. Finally, never point your weapon at anything you’re not willing to destroy. He disobeyed all 3 rules w/ a predictable result. Sad, very sad....
Starke probably won’t be in the business any more. A hard lesson was learned. He is lucky the injuries were not more serious. Maybe he should have invested in some blue training weapons for the students to handle until they got acquainted with the ‘pointy end of the spear’. He should have also emphasized the four rules of gun safety.
Let me postulate a possible, but not necessarily true, scenario:
Perhaps the students were informed beforehand that their would be no live ammo in the class.
Perhaps this was the beginning of the class, before it really started, and the student couple suddenly remembers that they forgot to unload their gun before they got there.
Embarrassed by this, they wait until Stark is out of sight, then try to surreptitiously unload the pistol.
I am not saying that it happened that way, just that it could have happened that way.
Live ammo is forbidden in a NRA training class.
It does not say where and how it occurred. Did this happen at the range or in class?
I don’t know anyone who allows live rounds in classroom.
But how was idiot handling a real firearm before getting to the range?