Accidental shootings often occur in the US, and Jemil's tragic story is just another reason why proper gun handling must be taken seriously by gun owners.
19-year-old Jemil Evans was accidentally shot on Saturday, June 12, 2021, by his friend, 22-year-old Alec Augustino Braz who showed off his handgun shortly after receiving his license to carry.
According to the GoFundMe set up to cover medical, travel, and housing costs for Evans' family, the teenager had just returned home to Woburn after visiting his father in Maine and decided to visit Braz.
Close up of police tape. | Photo: Shutterstock
While at Braz's home, Braz excitedly showed off his new handgun to Evans. According to Woburn Police Department Chief Bob Rufo Jr., Braz thought the gun was unloaded.
Unfortunately, the young man was mistaken. Rufo explained that during the process of Braz showing his friend his newly obtained gun, he shot Evans in the neck, which caused him to be permanently paralyzed. The GoFundMe page recounted:
"He was shot in the neck and the bullet severed his C6 and other parts of his spinal cord. He is permanently paralyzed."
Instead of calling 911, Braz drove his badly injured friend to the hospital. He initially told police that the gunshot wound was caused by an intruder. However, the police were suspicious of his story, and the truth came out.
Accidental gunshots are not only limited to the owner of the weapon.
Braz pled not guilty to an arraignment on Monday after being charged with assault and battery using a dangerous weapon, improper storage of a firearm, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
In a statement, Rufo explained that people who have a firearm license needed to understand that owning a gun comes with a tremendous level of personal responsibility.
He said gun owners are responsible for several factors including the correct storage and handling of the weapon. The police chief warned:
"There is a tremendous degree of personal responsibility in firearm ownership... also in proficiency in handling and using the firearm."
The father had taken out his gun as a precaution because he thought they were being followed. As he went to return the gun to his holster, the boy was shot. Fortunately, the boy is expected to recover, although he was in critical condition.
Accidental gunshots are not only limited to the owner of the weapon. In West Bath, Maine, two adults were shot after their two-year-old child got hold of a gun that was on their nightstand.
The mother, 22, suffered a leg wound, and the father, 25, was struck in the head while the gun recoil injured the toddler's head. Luckily for this young family, no one was seriously injured.
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