Raleigh, NC — Three people were wounded when a gun discharged at a gun show on Saturday. The event, the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, was being held on Gun Appreciation Day.
The event was taking place at the North Carolina state fairgrounds. Brian Long, a spokesman for the state’s agricultural department, stated that a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as its owner unzipped its case for a law enforcement officer to check at a security entrance.
Two bystanders and one retired deputy sheriff were injured in the incident, reports ABC News. The two bystanders were taken to a hospital for treatment, while the former deputy sheriff suffered a slight hand injury.
Show attendees bolted from the scene when they heard the gun discharge around 1 pm local time. Joel Keith, chief of police of the North Carolina State Fair, stated, “I want to emphasize that this is an accident.”
CNN notes that, despite it being an accident, Wake County sheriff’s investigators and the local prosecutor will determine if they will file charges against the gun’s owner.
A 54-year-old woman was treated for a wound to her right torso, while a 50-year-old man suffered injuries to his left hand from the accidental discharge. The gun’s owner brought the gun to the gun show to sell.
The accidental shooting at the Raleigh gun show prompted police to ban private gun sales for the remainder of the show, which ends on Sunday. Keith added that there wouldn’t be any private gun sales on fairgrounds property for the indefinite future. Keith added:
“If we thought if it was a problem or hazard, we wouldn’t have this show. I’m sure there isn’t anybody who hates this more than the guy who owned this weapon.”
Sheriff Donnie Harrison stated that he is not sure if it is illegal to bring a loaded gun on state fairgrounds. The gun show in Raleigh closed early because of the accidental shooting. It will go on as scheduled on Sunday.