Terry Dunlap, a 73-year-old gun safety instructor in the Lancaster, Ohio area, now stands accused of more than one accidental shooting.
On Saturday August 10, Dunlap shot 26-year-old Michael Piemonte in the right arm near the end of a day-long concealed carry gun safety class. Terry Dunlap wasn’t just the instructor.
He is also the owner of the shooting range and gun training center.
The victim was gracious about the shooting, saying he was lucky it wasn’t worse. There were several nurses taking the class, so he got immediate treatment.
Ohio news media said it looked like Terry Dunlap simply didn’t know that his gun was loaded. That led to some questions about Dunlap’s qualifications to teach gun safety.
I have a full report on the story right here.
As of August 13, local police called it an accident and refused to file charges.
But it’s interesting that Terry Dunlap is a longtime Violet Township trustee. It’s an elected office. And he’s running for re-election in November.
On Thursday, the Columbus Dispatch posted a report that a previous victim of a Terry Dunlap accidental shooting has stepped forward.
Cathy Schmelzer, now 50, said she was 14-year-old Cathy Hessler in 1977 when Terry Dunlap accidentally shot her during a Halloween hayride.
He wasn’t a township trustee then. But he was a Pickerington, Ohio police department auxiliary lieutenant.
He said he thought the gun was firing blanks when he shot into the air to create some drama. Instead, he was firing 0.38 bullets, one of which ricocheted and hit the teen in the leg.
The incident was called an accident. No charges were filed.
As of today, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said that they were still investigating. They hadn’t decided whether or not to charge Terry Dunlap for the August 10 accidental shooting.