Three people were injured Saturday at a gun show in Raleigh, N.C., after a 12-gauge shotgun filled with birdshot accidentally discharged, authorities said.
Around 1:15 p.m., a 36-year-old man entered the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The man, identified by authorities as Gary Lynn Wilson, took his encased shotgun to a security check. As he unfastened the case to be inspected, the gun accidentally went off, authorities said.
“I want to emphasize that this was an accident,” Joel Keith, chief of police for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, said at a news conference.
Janet Hoover, 54, and Linwood Hester, 50, were taken to WakeMed Hospital where they are being treated. Hoover was injured on her right torso and Hester suffered injuries to his left hand, Keith told reporters.
Retired Wake Forest Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Alderman, who was working at the show, suffered “a slight injury to his hand,” and was treated and released, Keith said.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a news release that the “injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.”
The shooting comes on the same day that thousands rallied in state capitals across the country against gun-control proposals announced by President Barack Obama earlier this week. A Republican consulting firm had promoted Saturday as Gun Appreciation Day, urging people to go to their local gun range, gun store or gun show as a protest.
The Raleigh show will be open again Sunday, but no private gun sales will be allowed, and visitors will not be able to carry personal guns onto the property, authorities said.
“Tomorrow, we will have a gun show again,” Keith told reporters.
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