August 15th, 2012
09:33 PM ET

Police: Moviegoer accidentally shoots himself in the rear

A man carried a gun into a movie theater and accidentally shot himself with it, police in Sparks, Nevada, say.

According to an incident report, police received several calls Tuesday night reporting shots being fired inside the Sparks Century Theater downtown, where "The Bourne Legacy" was playing. Multiple police units and other emergency personnel rushed to the theater, but officers quickly determined that only one shot had been fired.

Witnesses told police the man's gun had gone off when he adjusted his position in his seat. They said he quickly got up, apologized to other patrons sitting near him and left the theater before police arrived.

Officers later found the man at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Reno with a gunshot wound to his buttocks. He told them his gun - for which he had a valid concealed-carry permit - fell out of his pocket and discharged when it hit the floor.

There was no panic in the auditorium, CNN affiliate KRNV reported. Police said only five people out of the 30 in the theater even heard the gun go off.

The 56-year-old Sparks resident, whom police did not name, cooperated with investigators, said police, who added he may be charged later with illegally discharging a firearm.

On July 20, a man opened fire inside a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and wounding 58 during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." Former graduate student James Holmes, 24, faces charges in that case.

In a suburb of Cleveland, another man was arrested on August 4 after allegedly carrying weapons into a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" there. An attorney for Scott A. Smith said his client was carrying the weapons for self-protection.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Movies • Nevada • U.S.
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. judith

    I wonder what this doofus was so terrified of that he was carrying that loaded gun in the first place? Thank goodness he only injured himself.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cas

    People are so pathetically reactive! ....THEY JUST DON'T GET IT...It is a positive feedback loop!!! The more of these shooting that take place, the more these reactive simpletons fall behind groups like NRA and feel they need to have guns and easier access of guns......thus the more guns are made available...the more likely anger moments turn into gun use....and thus the more likely a mass shooting/shootout incident takes place...the more shooting incidents take place...the more these simpletons believe carrying guns and fighting for more liberal gun laws will help...and the cycle has become so vicious ...that it now doesn't even pass a week without some type of shooting in the U.S...ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING...

    You fatt asss...there is nobody you are going to save with your gun ...assuming that you can pin-point a machine gun spray in a paniced crowd...real life is not a movie...the only thing you will shoot is your fattt asss....WHICH YOU HAVE DONE!

    August 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      amen to that. the NRA is pathetic and so are the people who hide behind it

      August 16, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • yuri pelham

      Well said. Pathetic really. I prefer saying life is not a video game.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Luke

    Plaxico Burress got two years for shooting himself in a public place – I hope that this moron gets at least the same – I knew this was going to happen – I wasn't worried about another psycho, but I am worried about these stupid gun nuts packing heat when they go to a movie now because they think it makes them safer, when it really just makes everyone else in the theater less safe.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beadlesaz

      Luke – v. true.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Burress didn't have a valid concealed carry permit (his Florida issued one was expired) and was in New York City. This guy at least had a permit and given it is Nevada, he'll walk. Had his weapon wounded or killed somebody else, he might see a few months of jail time.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    Makes you wonder when the NRA claims to represent all the responsible gun owners if they used to count this guy, or if they still do, because he's so responsible...and if this gun owner is this responsible, I can only imagine how high that bar is set for the rest of them...

    August 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good grief!

      It happened ONE time, for cryin' out loud. Lose the dramatics already.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beadlesaz

      Reply to GoodGrief – an accidental discharge killed a woman a few weeks ago. She was dancing with an off-duty cop and rubbed up against his backside. *Dramatics* are in order when idiots are running around with loaded weapons. This is NOT an indictment against gun ownership – just against irresponsible gun ownership. We need a rational dialog on the subject – not a bunch of yelling at each other.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. Oh boy

    And the hicks who support guns have all said, boy if someone had been in that theatre with a gun that guy would not have been able to shoot so many. Ya right

    August 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Terri

    I'm not a gun owner, but I know better than to tell a gun owner they can't carry. I understand that everyone has a right to defend themselves. Sometimes men, though carry them because they make them feel more manly. This guy is very lucky that he was only hit in the rear. His gun could have made him less manly.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scotsman2k

    When questioned all he could say was, "but, but, but".

    August 16, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Morgan

    No excuse for this. I would NEVER carry a firearm that can go off when it drops. Anything I have MUST have a secure safety. Period.

    If its a revolver the hammer sits on an empty chamber with a safety on.

    My 1911 is so secure you can toss it a hundred times against a brick wall and it will not go off. Run over it with a truck, hit it with a hammer. It will NOT go off.

    This guy needs to go to a comprehensive safety course and be reminded how to use a safety. For Pete's sake he is a veteran.

    The ricochet could have killed someone.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lila

    If these people are so scared of going to the movies that they need to carry a gun. Stay effin home. This idiot is lucky he shot himself and not some innocent person sitting around him. He could have also set off a panic and people could have been injured. He could have also been beaten to death by other people not knowing his intentions when they heard the shot. I hope this idiot is charged.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • michael

      right so for all the morons who say everyone should be armed this guys gun went off by accident in a dark movie and all it would take is for some idiotic joh wayne dufus type to pull out his gun and attempt to defend or shoot back. there you have it a gun fight. case closed

      August 16, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. rocinante

    Another responsible gun owner.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ryan

    50 UK police just stormed Ecuador embassy. Julian Assange arrested.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. There. Are. No. Gods!

    This idiot should be held accountable. His gun could have killed some one, and you gun nuts say that guns don't kill people.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tom

    This guy should have had a sign around his neck that said "I'm stupid and I carry a gun."

    August 16, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. mj2280

    @David Ortiz: "You might also have a point... if guns were banned one or two hundred years ago... But they didn't, and now we probably have more guns than people in America. New ones are being made as we speak. Criminals are armed and we cannot rely on just the police to protect our loved ones. I guess one way to test this is to let people open carry and see if the crime rates decreases."

    I do have a point, and it is backed by research. I can point you to numerous sources. Also, as for your vigilante, open carry idea... we did try that. Look up history on old western towns and then tell me how much safer those towns were. Vigilantism is not the answer. What I find most confusing about people arguing that "we cannot rely on the police" is that they feel like arming everybody is the answer. If we can't rely on the police, then why are we not focusing on fixing the police? Because, I can tell you that arming the populace is what we have been doing for half a century and it is not working.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kenny

    He got a permit to purchase he weapon. He got a permit to carry the weapon concealed but he did not get a permit to accidentally discharge the weapon so Police may charge him with the unlawful discharge of a firearm. GIVE ME A BREAK. What do they charge him with when someone attempts to rob him and he shoots them? Do they also charge him at that time with the unlawful discharge of a firearm?

    August 16, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • naeco

      He absolutely should have been charged, he could have killed someone and he clearly is inept with a firearm.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Shooting in self defense is not illegal, so they would not charge him in that case. Is it really that hard for you to see the difference between carelessly leaving the safety off in a movie theater (where an accidental discharge might have hit someone else, possibly killing them) and using a gun to actually defend himself from an armed criminal (where revealing the gun would possibly get him killed, but that's his choice to use the weapon)?

      August 16, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Check

      Sorry, but the guy did not secure his weapon properly and his negligence resulted in what was fortunately only a minor injury to himself. He should be charged, but I imagine the penalty is not inordinately severe.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13