A vendor is accused of shooting a woman during a gun show in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Although the incident was clearly accidental, Geoffrey Hawk, age 44, is facing criminal charges. Authorities said Hawk was providing a demonstration on how to use a holster, when the gun unexpectedly fired. The bullet struck Krista Gearhart, age 25, in the right thigh.
The Eagle Arms Gun show featured numerous vendors, who sell weapons, holsters, and miscellaneous items related to guns. During the event, Hawk was using his gun to demonstrate how to use a concealed-carry holster — which was manufactured by his company.
Although he provided the demonstration numerous times throughout the weekend, without incident, something went wrong. During his final demonstration, a woman was shot in the leg.
Gun show vendors are not permitted to display loaded weapons. Unfortunately, Hawk’s gun contained at least one bullet.
Following the shooting, Gearhart was transported to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment. Authorities said the wound was not life-threatening. The 25-year-old woman was treated and released the same day.
Gun show organizer Joel Koehler asked Hawk to collect his belongings and leave the building. Koehler said he and his staff have a zero-tolerance policy, which strictly prohibits loaded weapons inside the building.
Although vendors and guests are checked at the door, Hawk’s loaded weapon went undetected.
During a police interview, Hawk suggested someone else loaded the gun after he entered the building. As reported by Huffington Post, Hawk said he emptied the weapon of all ammunition before taking it inside.
As the gun was left unattended on numerous occasions, Hawk believes someone placed bullets inside the gun without his knowledge.
Although he has not been charged at this time, the Columbia County district attorney’s office is considering charges of criminal negligence. Officer Brad Sharrow said the incident is currently under investigation.
As reported by ABC News, the victim does not hold Hawk responsible. Although she admitted it was “very ironic” to be shot during a gun show, she is certain the shooting was accidental.
Gearhart said the entire incident was a “horrible accident” and the vendor expressed sincere regret. Although she was injured in the shooting, Gearhart said she would not hesitate to attend future events.
It is unclear whether someone else loaded Hawk’s gun or the vendor simply forgot it was loaded. However, Hawk contends the shooting was unintentional. Although it was a tragic accident, the vendor could face criminal charges for shooting a woman during the gun show.
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