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5 injured after accidental shootings at gun shows

Posted at 9:43 AM, Jan 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-20 17:41:58-05

(WTVR) -– Five people were shot at gun shows Saturday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio after several mishaps.

The police chief of Medina, Ohio, said the dealer had just bought a semi-automatic handgun and was checking it out when he unintentionally pulled the trigger.

WEWS reports the gun's magazine had been removed, but one round remained in the chamber. As a result, a man standing nearby was shot in the leg and arm.

Police said the victim and the dealer who accidentally shot him were longtime friends.

WRTV reports that another of the shootings happened at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds after a 54-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the hand after leaving the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show.

Officials said the man, who was hospitalized and is now in stable condition, was reloading his gun in the parking lot when it went off.

Additionally, three people were shot at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, North Carolina, Saturday.

"People were just walking so quickly you could tell they were starting to panic a little bit," one person at the show said.

WRAL reports that minutes before the commotion, Gary Wilson of Wilmington brought his gun inside the Jim Graham Building to have it inspected by law enforcement since he planned to sell it.

However, when Wilson opened the gun’s case to remove it for inspection, the gun went off just a few feet away from Emory Lewis.

"And when I turned around… I heard the shot went off and the guy that was standing right in front of me… it went through his hand and then I heard a lady hollering and it went through her side somewhere," Emory said.

Investigators said a 54-year-old woman was shot in her torso, a 50-year-old man, and a retired deputy, a 54-year-old man were both shot in the hand. It's unclear if Wilson will face any charges but fairgrounds safety officials say what is clear is the shot was fired before any law enforcement had the opportunity to inspect the gun.

"The weapon discharged before any of our employees had ever taken possession or touched the firearm or had the opportunity to make it safe," Police Chief Joel Keith, with the N.C. Department of Agriculture, said.

The accident closed the gun show for the day, but on Sunday there will be no private gun sales and personal guns will not be allowed on the property.