Grandfather shot his grandson: The host, Michael Gardner, 62, from Odessa, Texas, was attempting to grab the attention of the guests just moments before the ceremony when he dropped his 1860 Pietta scissor-nose revolver, inadvertently causing it to discharge and hit his 12-year-old grandson’s shoulder.
The details of the incident were disclosed during a press conference held by Deputy Chief Ben Houchin of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. The wedding was already running behind schedule, prompting Gardner’s ill-fated decision to use a blank round to gather everyone’s attention, as the wedding rings were forgotten and guests were scattered throughout the venue.
Deputy Chief Houchin further explained that the blank round contained black powder that had clumped together. As Gardner attempted to cock the revolver, he lost his grip, resulting in the unintended discharge and injury to his grandson’s left shoulder. It is believed that the clumped black powder played a role in causing the injury.
Fortunately, the young boy’s injuries were not life-threatening, but he did require medical treatment at a hospital. In light of Gardner’s reckless actions and the harm caused to his grandson, he now faces charges of child abuse. He turned himself into the police on Monday.
While authorities do not believe that Gardner had any intention to harm his grandson, Deputy Chief Houchin emphasized the lack of judgment in his actions, stating, “It wasn’t a very smart move.” He further underscored that brandishing an empty gun and firing it among a crowd is a clear form of negligence.
This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of prioritizing safety and responsible behavior, particularly when handling firearms, and the potential consequences that can arise from hasty and thoughtless actions.