A Connecticut man is accused of testing out his new guns by open firing them in a park crowded with kids.
The incident took place in Stamford, where police say 68-year-old James Denardo drove his Cadillac to a road near Scalzi Park with two new guns, a loaded Derringer and a 9mm Beretta. As CBS New York reported, Denardo allegedly wanted to see how the guns worked and decided to fire off a couple of shots into the park from a nearby dead-end street.
The park was quite crowded when he opened fire, police say, with a softball game going on and many kids playing.
“People that were playing baseball out on the park actually saw the bullets hit out in the field,” said one witness. “We’re extremely lucky no one was hurt.”
Police later said that Denardo may not have seen any of the people in the park when he opened fire but said he was well aware that he was firing toward the park. When police arrived, Denardo allegedly struggled with the officers before being taken into custody.
This is not the first time that a careless shooting has led to some swift consequences — and to viral headlines. Just as the Connecticut shooting gained national news this week, so too did a 2013 incident in Chicago where a 21-year-old man decided to prank people on Halloween by shooting them with a paintball gun. As NBC Chicago reported, several people reported being injured by the paintballs including one person who suffered bruising and lacerations on their face.
A Connecticut man who had been drinking vodka fired a handgun twice into a busy park during a softball game. He told police that he had just purchased a loaded two-shot Derringer and a 9mm Beretta and “wanted to see how they worked.”
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 25, 2019
But the paintball shooter soon faced real consequences. As the report noted, one of the victims retaliated by pulling out a real gun and firing an actual bullet at the man. Things went badly from there, the report noted.
“The man was shot in the shoulder and was listed in stable condition,” noted the NBC Chicago report. “His alleged accomplice in the paintball shootings, 39-year-old Jason Wells, was charged with one misdemeanor count of possession/discharging of an air rifle, a misdemeanor.”
In Connecticut, James Denardo is charged with 50 counts of reckless endangerment, one for each person there at the time he allegedly tested out the guns by firing them into the park. He also faces 10 counts of risk to injury to a minor for the kids who were in the park. Denardo’s pistol permit was also revoked, and police confiscated his guns and ammunition. He remained in jail after failing to post bond.