Gun show organizers insist accidental shooting no big deal — but victim says her health is ruined
The organizers of a Texas gun show where three workers were accidentally shot over the weekend insist everything’s fine — but one of the victims said her life will never be the same.
A vendor handling a 12-gauge shotgun accidentally fired the gun Saturday morning at the Wichita Falls Gun and Knife Show, spraying three event employees with bird shot, reported KFDX-TV.
A spokesman for the annual event, which has been held for 36 years, said he’s never seen an accidental discharge in his 16 years with the gun show.
“Guns don’t accidentally discharge, people accidentally pull the trigger,” said event spokesman Joe Tom White. “A gun’s never hurt anyone, never. People with a gun have. I guess if you had a loaded gun and threw it down, it might go off or something, that might be possible. It’s carelessness, and I can’t judge because this man is going to be judged. I would judge it was carelessness on his part to bring a loaded gun in here when it’s not allowed.”
Police said three employees suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the gun show reopened Sunday morning as usual — but one of the victims said her life will never be the same.
“My whole life at this moment, has been taken away from me,” said Dede King, who has worked the show for 14 years. “My health will never be the same.”
King said she saw her co-worker lying on the ground, bleeding badly, after hearing a gunshot.
“I couldn’t tell if he was dead or alive,” King said. “All of a sudden I couldn’t get to him. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move — and I realize I had been shot. I heard someone say she’s bleeding from the neck.”
King and her family are unhappy with the gun show’s organizers, who said all the victims were fine — although she was fighting for her life and is unable to return to her full-time job at the Allred Prison Medical Department.
The show’s organizers haven’t even called to check up on her, relatives said.
“Far as gun show wise, the people that are reliable for this happening, we haven’t heard anything — and we don’t even know who’s at fault,” said daughter Kayla Carraway. “What happened? No one has followed up, or nothing, and they have all of our phone numbers.”
Police are still investigating the shooting, and prosecutors could file charges against the vendor who brought the loaded weapon into the gun show.
The event spokesman said two police officers are supposed to check every firearm at the door to ensure they’re cable tied to prevent accidental discharge.