Man Accidentally Shoots Self, Wife During Gun Safety Discussion

A Tennessee man accidentally shot himself and his wife Thursday during a discussion at their church about gun safety concerns.

Local news station WATE reports that the man and his wife, whose names have not been released, were attending a social club meeting at the First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains. The club is unaffiliated with the church itself.

“We were talking about concealed carry and protecting ourselves,” witness Ray Zillick told WATE.

During the discussion, one attendee pulled out his own gun to show others. The exact details of how the gun went off are somewhat unclear.

Tellico Plains Police Department Chief Russ Parks told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the man pulled the trigger after declaring the gun was unloaded — apparently forgetting he had just loaded it. However, Zillick said that the man accidentally squeezed the trigger while pulling the gun out of his pocket.

When the gun went off, the bullet hit the man’s right hand before going through his wife’s abdomen and forearm. The husband and wife, both in their 80s, each suffered from injuries that were not life-threatening.

Parks told ABC News that the man was carrying the gun legally and that no charges will be filed.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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[WATCH] Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Shoots Man Over 17 Times and Then Stomps On His Head

An Orange County sheriff’s deputy who in 2013 continued to shoot a felled suspect and then stomped his head may be sued for using excessive deadly force, a federal appeals court decided Wednesday.

“When police confront a suspect who poses an immediate threat, they may use deadly force against him,” Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “But they must stop using deadly force when the suspect no longer poses a threat.”

In an unusual action, the court released the police videos of the fatal shooting, which can be viewed here and here. The shooting occurred three minutes into the first video and 3½ minutes into the second.

The court reached its decision in a lawsuit filed by the mother of Connor Zion, 21, who suffered seizures, bit his mother and cut her and his roommate with a kitchen knife, according to the court.

The Sheriff’s Department was called. When Deputy Juan Lopez arrived at the condominium complex in Laguna Niguel, Zion ran toward him and stabbed Lopez’s arms.

Deputy Michael Higgins, who arrived separately and saw the attack and shot Zion.

Video on the department dashboard cameras revealed that Higgins initially fired nine shots. Once Zion was on the ground, Higgins fired nine more times, emptying his gun.

Then Higgins walked in a circle, took a “running start” and stomped on Zion’s head three times, the court said the video showed.

The Sheriff’s Department later awarded Higgins a medal of valor for the action for saving his partner’s life, the Orange County Register reported.

Zion appeared to have been wounded and was not making threatening gestures after being fired upon at “relatively close range” and falling to the ground, the court said.

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WATCH: Cop Shoots Fleeing Man, After He Falls Down, He Shoots Him 9 More Times, Stomps His Head


Los Angeles, CA — Connor Zion, 21, was in the midst of a psychological breakdown when he became violent and was subsequently killed. However, the manner in which he was killed has led to a federal court ruling that the police officer who killed him can now be sued for using excessive deadly force.

“When police confront a suspect who poses an immediate threat, they may use deadly force against him,” Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week. “But they must stop using deadly force when the suspect no longer poses a threat.”

When a suspect falls to the ground after he’s been shot in the back as he fled, that suspect is, by most definitions, subdued and no longer a threat. However, despite collapsing to the ground after being shot in the back, Orange County sheriff’s deputy Michael Higgins felt it necessary to stand over Zion as he bled out on the ground and fire nine more shots into him at point-blank range. For good measure, Higgins then backed up, took a running start, and began stomping Zion’s face into the concrete.

In 2014, Higgins was cleared of the murder of Zion, only days after Zion’s mother filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit.

On the morning of September 24, 2013, Kimberly Zion received a call from her son’s roommate, concerned about the seizures Zion had suffered the past few days. She flew from her home in Washington and arrived at their Laguna Niguel condo later that evening.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) office, this is when things turned south.

As OC Weekly reported at the time,

At the condo, Kimberly and the roommate discussed whether or not her son took his prescription medications regularly. Connor came downstairs in a rage and started attacking his roommate, eventually grabbing a knife and slashing his arm. His mom wrested the knife from her son’s hand and chucked it into a back patio chimney.


Bleeding from her hand, Kimberly sought refuge in a neighbor’s condo. Around 7:30 p.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) received a call about a stabbed man bleeding in the street. Sheriff deputies–Higgins, and a Deputy Lopez–arrived separately on scene, when Connor reappeared with a knife in hand. (How he rearmed himself isn’t clarified in the report).

As Zion reappeared with the knife, a chase ensued at which point Lopez lost his footing and fell to the ground. According to police, Zion then stuck him with the knife in his arm. At this point, Higgins pulls up and claims to have begun firing as Zion was still on top of Lopez. However, according to the non-cop witnesses, the situation unfolded differently.

According to the federal lawsuit, Connor Zion didn’t stab his roommate, and that the cuts suffered were a result of an accident, not an assault. It further contends that Zion had separated from deputy Lopez at the time Higgins began firing. Indeed, the second video from Higgins’ own dashcam shows Zion running before any shots are fired.

“We interviewed the same witnesses in the report,” attorney Jerry L. Steering told the Weekly. “You can’t rely on what the DA or the Sheriff says. They always omit important facts.” 

However, the OCDA cited Lopez’s injuries to his arms and says the video of the patrol car shows that all of Higgins actions were justified.

As the federal court ruling illustrates this week, some people disagree. The disagreement was apparently so strong in the federal court that they made the unusual move to release the video publicly—uploading it to their own YouTube channel.

In the video, we see that Higgins initially fired 9 shots at Zion at which point he collapsed to the ground. Instead of moving in to handcuff the troubled college student and allow him to be tried for his crimes in a court of law, Higgins moved in as the judge, jury, and executioner.

Zion appeared to have been wounded and was not making threatening gestures after being fired upon at “relatively close range” and falling to the ground, the court said.

“While Higgins couldn’t be sure that Zion wasn’t bluffing or only temporarily subdued, Zion was lying on the ground and so was not in a position where he could easily harm anyone or flee,” Kozinski wrote.

Regardless of Zion lying on the ground, Higgins proceeded to finish him off by emptying his magazine into Zion and then stomping on his head.

If a suspect is on the ground and appears wounded, “a reasonable officer would reassess the situation rather than continue shooting,” the court said, according to the LA Times.

The Constitution’s due process clause protects against such “brutal” conduct as head stomping, the court said, noting the strikes to Zion’s head appeared to be “vicious blows.”

“Like forced stomach-pumping, head-stomping a suspect curled up in the fetal position ‘is bound to offend even hardened sensibilities,’” Kozinski wrote, according to the Times.

Now, as the case moves forward, Kimberly Zion has a chance at a semblance of justice for the brutal fate suffered by her son. As for Higgins who was cleared in 2014 for the killing, he was given the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor for Zion’s death.


To add a point of reference, and illustrate what would have happened to Higgins if he weren’t a police officer, we can look at the case of Jerome Jay Ersland who shot and killed a masked robber in his pharmacy. He was given life in prison.

Two female co-workers at Reliable Discount Pharmacy told jurors Ersland was a hero who saved their lives on May 19, 2009, as News Ok reported at the time. But prosecutors called him an executioner who shot a wounded, unarmed robber five more times after the robber fell to the floor unconscious and was no longer a threat.

Just like Zion, Ersland’s victim was incapacitated and no longer a threat when he opened fire on him a second time. One is rewarded while the other is punished—showing the difference a badge can make.

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Texas Cop Shoots and Kills Family Dog in Front of Kids for Barking at His Dog


Mansfield, TX – A family is mourning the loss of their beloved Great Dane after it was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in a horrific incident that happened right in front of their children.

The officer was taking his Pit Bull for a walk in the neighborhood when he claimed the Great Dane “charged at him,” so he shot and killed it, according to a statement from the Mansfield Police Department.

The owner of the Great Dane, who was fondly called “Cezar,” is now speaking out and setting the record straight about her encounter with the officer. In a Facebook post, Carol Velarde Evans claimed that Cezar was violently and recklessly shot and killed by the officer.

“This ruthless police officer was walking his PIT BULL, a breed that is brave and can defend itself, not some tiny dog,” Evans wrote. “This officer has known this family for years, he walks his dog all the time and knows Cezar. Cezar did walk up to the Pit Bull and they started barking. I was inches away, fixing to grab Cezar when he pulled a gun out and fired. I immediately went into shock and fear when I saw the gun in his hand. I didn’t know if he was gonna shoot me next.”

Evans said the shooting occurred on Sunday evening when her kids were riding their bikes around the neighborhood cul-de-sac with several neighbors present. As soon as the officer opened fire, Evans said it sent the neighborhood into a panic, with parents rushing to get their children to safety.

“Everyone started panicking, trying to get the kids inside. I did hear Cezar yelp but thought the gun shot hurt his ears. He ran into house,” Evans wrote. “While trying to get kids inside, I saw blood all over my driveway. That’s when I realized he shot at Cezar. I started screaming and looked back, and he stood there smug with no remorse.”

Evans then described her family’s attempt to save their beloved pet. “We dragged Cezar out from under table, blood everywhere and got him in the car. Our precious giant suffered and died on the way to the hospital,” she wrote.

Noting that not only did the officer fatally injure their dog, he endangered the entire neighborhood by recklessly opening fire in the residential area—right in front of children. Evans said she is sharing the horrific loss of her family pet in an attempt to raise awareness:

“I’m sharing my story and loss to help get support and spread to word of this injustice. We will fight for you, Cezar. This will not go as an accident, officer. You murdered our dog. The bullet went through him and could have hit the babies. I live in Mansfield National, you live right around the corner with your pit bull. This is not an unsafe neighborhood to have to carry a weapon. Neighbors, watch your pets, watch your children … until we get justice, it’s not safe in our neighborhood.” 

As The Free Thought Project has relentlessly reported, officer-involved shootings that target family dogs have become an epidemic. While police officers have been taught to claim that they opened fire because the animals made them fear for their lives, Body Camera footage and witness testimonies have revealed that is not always the case.

In one example, Body Cam footage revealed that a police officer in Minnesota who was trespassing on a family’s property and shot and killed their dog, appeared to open fire on “a happy, submissive, and docile dog for absolutely no reason.” In another example, a police officer in Indiana opened fire on a dog who ran out to greet him, even though the owner claimed the dog was friendly and had been recently found and rescued by police.

In the case of Cezar the Great Dane, Carol Velarde Evans insisted that Cezar is not an aggressive dog,” and the officer’s claim that he was just protecting himself against a vicious dog that was trying to attack him, was an outright lie.

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[WATCH] Georgia Cop Mistakes His Gun For Taser and Shoots Man in The Arm During Arrest

An 18-year-old male was shot in the arm on Monday by a cop who mistook his gun for his taser.

Police responded to a call about a son striking his mother across the face at around 2pm in Milledgeville, Georgia.
When they arrived to take the son, Jamel Jackson, 18, into custody he resisted and ‘a brief physical struggle ensued,’ according to a statement released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to the Macon Telegraph.

Bodycam footage shows the deputies telling Jackson: ‘Put your hands up.’

He struggles to get away from them so one of the deputies yells: ‘Taser! Taser!’

A deputy can then be seen pulling his gun from its holster and firing a shot at the teen.

Jackson gets up and can be heard saying: ‘You messed up my shirt didn’t you?’ before the deputies sit him down and call for medical help.

The GBI statement said the deputies decided to taser Jackson to ‘gain compliance,’ but Deputy Charles Gillis ‘mistakenly drew his firearm instead of his Taser, firing one shot into Jackson’s arm.’

Gillis, a nine-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, is on administrative leave pending further investigation.

The mother Gloria Jackson told police that she and Jamel got into an argument about him cooking food and not cleaning up his room.

‘She confronted him about his actions, he became aggressive toward her,’ the incident report says. ‘He followed her around the house, hitting her, and knocked her down, holding her down on the floor, and not letting her get up. She stated that she hit him and he finally let her up.’

A deputy said he noticed a bruise to the left of Gloria Jackson’s eye, which at started swelling at the time and was sore to the touch, according to the victim.

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WATCH: Cop Claims Unarmed Biker Made Him ‘Fear For His Life’ So He Nearly Shoots Him


Albuquerque, NM — All too often, as the Free Thought Project has consistently reported, police officers will use the term “fear for my life” to justify just about any insane and violent tactics they employ. Also, all too often, these tactics involve killing innocent people. A video submitted to the Free Thought Project this week shows just how insane those tactics can be and also just how close a man came to losing his life.

Bikers and cops have a sordid history and often times, when they meet face to face, police will resort to childish road rage tactics. The case in the video below is no different. However, it could’ve resulted in the senseless death of a man on a motorcycle.

It is important to note that motorcycle groups driving recklessly around high-traffic areas present a danger to themselves and those around them. That being said, the situation is not made any safer when a cop employs deadly force to stop it. However, that is exactly what happened.

According to KRQE:

The video shows a motorcyclist doing a wheelie on Tramway Saturday afternoon when a BCSO patrol car pulls alongside him. A passenger deputy can be see drawing his gun and aiming it at the motorcyclist as the two vehicles go through an intersection.

BCSO confirmed that is the deputy’s service weapon – not a taser. BCSO says deputies received several calls Saturday of this group of roughly 50 bikers racing and driving recklessly in the Heights.

Deputies says what’s not shown in this video is the bikers flashing gang signs and surrounding deputies as they tried to pull them over.

According to police, positioning one’s fingers in a certain way, to form what they call a ‘gang sign’ is somehow a threat to one’s life. According to their statement, these hand gestures caused the deputies to ‘fear for their lives’ and so one of them pulled out his pistol — out of fear, of course.

Deputy Felicia Maggard, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s spokeswoman never once said the deputy was wrong for pulling his gun and only noted that the gang signs made them think they were under attack.

“The motorcycles completely surrounded their patrol unit and began directing what deputies know to be gang related signs in their direction,” Maggard said. The horror.

The video does not show any of this, however. It only shows the cruiser speed up to the back of a biker who was riding a wheelie and threaten to kill him by pulling out his gun and aiming it at him.

While this act may seem crazy or rare, TFTP has reported on similar instances before.

Earlier this year, a video went viral after it showed a Chicago cop walking into the street and lob his piping hot cup of coffee into the face of a motorcyclist. The man on the bike goes by Elijah Bling on Facebook and the officer’s crime was captured on his helmet cam.

In March of last year, Fort Worth police confirmed that one of their officers was under investigation after a video was uploaded to Facebook showing him pepper spray innocent people as they drove by on motorcycles. In August, the Department quietly released a statement noting that they will not discipline the officer involved.

After Fort Worth police officer William Figueroa was seen shooting out pepper spray into the faces of motorcyclists as they drove by on a busy highway, he was placed on paid vacation pending an internal investigation. The investigation wrapped up in June. However, investigators left it up to Figueroa’s bosses to decide what, if any, punishment he would receive. He received nothing.

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WATCH: ‘I’ll F**king Shoot You!’—Cop Shoots and Kills Man Running Away


Salt Lake City, UT — Earlier this year, the Free Thought Project reported on the Salt Lake City Police Department’s training program which taught officers de-escalation tactics and how that has prevented their officers from killing since 2015.

However, at least one officer has forgotten that training and a recent killing, captured on body camera, has ruined their non-lethal streak. To make matters worse, this man was attempting to flee when he was killed and the officer who did it was justified.

On Wednesday, the Salt Lake City District Attorney’s Office announced that the officer who killed 50-year-old Patrick Harmon, officer Clinton Fox, was legally justified in his actions.

A letter disseminated Wednesday afternoon by District Attorney Sim Gill’s office said that “After conducting an Officer Involved Critical Incident (OICI) review, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the August 13, 2017 Use of Deadly Force by a Salt Lake City Police Department officer in [sic] was legally justified.”

As Desert News reports, the stop was initiated over improper bicycle lighting:

Harmon was initially stopped by police for riding his bicycle across six lanes of traffic on State Street near 1000 South and for not having a required tail light, the report states. After giving officers several different names, police learned that Harmon had several warrants out for his arrest.

Fox said Harmon seemed emotional, distraught and nervous, talked about “getting right with God,” and said he was trying to take care of his warrant, the report states.

During the video, we can see Harmon begin to cry as he realizes that he is going to go to jail. Then, all of the sudden, he realized he was not going to go.

“Harmon pleaded with the officers not to go to jail. The officers took Mr. Harmon’s hands and placed them behind his back. As Mr. Harmon’s hands went behind his back, Mr. Harmon bolted from the officers and ran,” the report states.

As Harmon tried to flee, he appears to briefly turn back toward the officers for a split second—a decision which would end his life.

“Fox said Mr. Harmon came at the officers with something in his hand. Officer Fox said he was terrified by how close Mr. Harmon was to the officers when Mr. Harmon stopped and turned toward them,” the report states. “Officer Fox said he feared if he didn’t immediately use deadly force, Mr. Harmon was going to stab him and/or the other officers.”

Fox fired his weapon three times, according to the report.

“Officer Fox said that in 10 years of law enforcement and two military deployments, it was the scariest situation he had ever been in,” investigators wrote.

While the video does show Harmon turn back around, neither of the other officers felt they needed to resort to deadly force. In fact, had Fox not killed Harmon, the other officer’s taser—which was deployed—could’ve brought him down without incident.

Police Chief Mike Brown issued a statement saying he and the department “trust the process and support the decision” from Gill‘s office. “I believe our officers have the training, judgment and ability to make split-second decisions in dynamic situations,” Brown said.

According to City Weekly, Harmon’s sister, Antionette—who drove 1,300 miles along with eight other family members to attend a rally for her brother—recalled Patrick Harmon, four years her junior as “goofy” and remembered him as “a protector”—someone who defended his only sister whenever needed.

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Meteor fireball shoots across the night sky in Iceland


A strange light was visible in Iceland last night and lots of people posted photos and videos of it online, some speculating on what it could be. Astronomy experts confirm that it was a meteor.

“Did anyone see that meteor above Reykjavik,” one Icelander writes on Twitter and another writes, “In the middle of an ocean of Northern Lights we saw a shooting star right near us, it seems. Like a huge rocket, flying fast across Mount Esja,” wrote another. A tourist writes that the Northern Lights display last night was overshadowed by the meteor. “It was so cool.”

On Stjörnufræðivefurinn, Iceland’s leading astronomy website it states that the phenomenon was a meteor and that people had seen it all across Iceland. In the North, in Reykjavik and in South Iceland.

“As you can see the meteor passes rather slowly across the sky which means that it entered the atmosphere at less than 20 km per second, which is fairly low for meteors,” states the website.

Several witnesses reported about a meteor over #Reykjavik #Iceland less than hour ago. Photo by P. Pszeniecka.

— Andrei Menshenin ✈️ (@A_Menshenin) September 12, 2017

“The meteor was probably made of rock because as you can see it disintegrating before it disappears at an altitude of 20-30 km. From the light we can tall that it was a small rock, smaller than a football and probably even smaller than a tennisball but that’s a rough estimate.”

Despite so many people seeing it last night, Stjörnufræðivefurinn reports that it’s far from the brightest shooting star to have been observed in Iceland. “But it’s probably the most viewed one. It’s nice to see how many people are starting to observe the night sky.”

Today is a clear day in Reykjavik and Northern Lights are likely to be highly visible tonight.

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Fearful Cop Mistakes Reporter’s Camera for a Gun—Opens Fire, Shoots the Innocent Man


New Carlisle, OH — A local reporter in New Carlise, just north of Dayton, Ohio, found out the hard way just how dangerous a fearful trigger happy cop can be. While setting up his camera to cover the news, a Clark County Sheriff’s deputy opened fire on Andy Grimm after he mistook the man’s camera for a gun.

Grimm was out doing his job for New Carlisle News Monday night when he came across a traffic stop on the way back to the office and decided to take some photos. Grimm was tasked with taking photos of a nearby lightning storm but when he saw the traffic stop, he saw an opportunity for more pictures. However, that decision almost killed him.

“I was going out to take pictures and I saw the traffic stop and I thought, ‘Hey, cool. I’ll get some pictures here.’” he told the newspaper, according to New Carlise News. He said he pulled into a parking lot in full view of the deputy, got out of his Jeep and started setting up his tripod and camera. “I turned around toward the cars and then ‘pop, pop.”

He “had his camera in his hand” when the Clark County Deputy Jake Shaw feared for his life and opened fire. Grimm was shot in his side and was rushed to the hospital Monday night where he underwent surgery to save his life. He is expected to make a recovery.

As New Carlise News reports, Andy said the deputy gave him no warning. “I was just doing my job,” he said.

Oddly enough, Grimm is standing up for the officer and told the paper that he doesn’t want the trigger happy danger to the public who shot him for holding a camera to lose his job.

“I just talked to Andy and he said that he is very sore, but in good spirits,” Dale Grimm, the photographer’s father and publisher of the New Carlisle News, told Fox News. “He said the hospital expects to be releasing him Tuesday. He also stressed that he does not want the deputy to lose his job over this.”

“I know Jake. I like Jake. I don’t want him to lose his job over this,” Andy Grimm said.

“This is a small town. Everybody knows everybody. It was just a terrible misunderstanding,” his father said.

We disagree with the Grimms. This officer should, without a doubt, be fired, charged and never allowed to possess a gun or a badge ever again. Sadly, however, that will not likely happen.

Would the elder Grimm feel the same way if Andy was killed from the gunshots? Sure, it was a misunderstanding but mistake or not, the use of deadly force was employed and a person was severely wounded and almost killed for it.

Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett took to Facebook in the aftermath of the shooting to quash the criticism of the deputy by saying he needs prayers.

“As sheriff of this county, I would truly appreciate if the community would just send prayers for Andy Grimm and my deputy,” she says on Facebook.

State Rep. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, reiterated Grimm’s wishes in a Facebook post of his own.

“Let’s support Andy with our prayers and by doing what he asks by not tearing down law enforcement,” Koehler’s post says.

The sheer inability to be critical of the deputy by the sheriff, the representative, and even the victim speaks to the nature of blind support for police in this country. Yes, many officers are heroes and do amazing things. However—this one did not.

His fear, willingness to escalate to deadly force, and his poor judgment almost killed a man. He should be criticised. He should be held accountable. He is a danger and a menace to society and people should not be afraid of saying this.



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