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.

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Filed under: Crime • Movies • Nevada • U.S.
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    OMG. I don't think it's the homicidal nuts I need to worry about. It's the L-O-S-E-R-S who are packing heat so they can play hero at the theater when the homicidal maniac shows up. Next we'll read about how two of the BONEHEADS mistake each other for a psycho terrorist and start blasting each other and whoever is 20 feet to either side of the opponent.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Robrob

      Sadly I suspect your will be proven right.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Please never have someone protect you then if you are facing death. Hate guns if you want, but remember to accept your fate if you have no means to stop what can happen to you or if others just don't help you because of you silly anti-gun stupidity.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. AJD13

    Good. What an idiot. I don't care if he had the proper permit or whatever to carry a concealed weapon. If he didn't have it holstered properly so that this happened he should lose his permit. It's lucky that it injured him and not some innocent bystander and also lucky that it going off didn't cause a panic which could have caused injuries as well.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. CJ17

    This is just going to give the security types more reason to install metal detectors at the movie theaters. The government wants to discourage public gatherings of any kind, including watching movies.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Robrob

    "...his gun – for which he had a valid concealed-carry permit – fell out of his pocket and discharged when it hit the floor."

    Way to go gun nuts...

    August 16, 2012 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. tony sullivan in sydney

    america, america. What are going to do with you....?

    August 16, 2012 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tb

    and this is why u buy a modern well designed handgun thats drop safe....

    August 16, 2012 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Delmar Knudson

    Next time you go to a movie be sure to carry your 22 or 38 caliber pistol so you can protect your fellow theater goers from a fellow with body armor covering his neck, his chest, his abdomen, his legs, and even his crotch and who is armed with an automatic assault rifle, a shotgun and a pistol. Should we bet on him or you?

    August 16, 2012 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Beadlesaz

      Delmar, don't forget the teargas!

      August 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gunnar

    See guys, if EVERYONE had a gun, they could have shot this lunatic. LIVES would have been saved.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. alexpdx

    Epic self defense fail.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike R

    Licence to carry fire-arm should include a competency test; like keeping the bullets separate. God help America from these scared and stupid gun-trotting, cowboy wanna-be's!

    August 16, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Oh, dumb for someone having the courage to attempt to protect themselves? A gun is useless if there are no bullets in it. Someone comes in a theatre and start shooting up the places I think it would be more stupid to try and load the gun in the dark while people are knocking you around. An empty gun is a useless gun.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
    • MOCaseA

      So basically you are saying "Sure you can carry a fire arm for self protection. You just can't keep it loaded."

      Right, and who is the real idiot?

      This guy wanted to go watch a movie, and with all the high profile shootings going on decided he wanted protection. He had the valid permits and didn't threaten anyone with it. So now he's a wanna-be cowboy?

      Tell you what... Next time you are in a life or death situation where a person with a firearm has the ability to stop it, make sure he doesn't. Then you can gladly die saying "At least there wasn't some wanna-be cowboy carrying a gun who would have shot the person who just killed me. It would have been really horrible if I hadn't died."

      August 16, 2012 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
    • 8jimofohio

      a man in mcdermot oh,,shot his self in the leg whileplayin' basketball in a school after hours..it was a 38 spec derringer which he dropped & it fired.. GUN HAD A DEVICE TO STOP FIRING WHEN DROPPED BUT WAS NOT IN USE.. i have one from the 1950's without the safety device built in.. drop it on the haammer & it will fire..

      August 16, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
    • God

      i've tried to help sir, by allowing the evolution of intelligence but humans seem to be resistant. sorry, i'll do better next time around, this world was just a practice run. my bad!

      August 16, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Kudu

      A gun can be loaded but as long as there isn't a round in the chamber or under the pin it can not be fired. And, you are also correct that this guy was an idiot to carry the weapon "fully" loaded. You just can't fix stupid...

      August 16, 2012 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      You are mistaken if you believe that it is a requirement to separate bullets from the weapon as a requirement for "competancy". Sorry, but you lost complete cred with that statement.....

      August 16, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      What good is a gun without ammo in it? CC is so you can defend yourself. If the bullets are out of the gun there is almost no point in it.

      I certainly agree that the gun should not have gone off when dropped though. There had to have been a bullet in the chamber and the safety was off. That combination is very unsafe.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • wildone

      "Keeping the bullets separate?????" You've got to be kidding.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. JC in Western U.S.

    Dumb. Just dumb. It's kinda refreshing for a change.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Phhil

    I like the unrelated information at the end of the story... Man shoots himself by accident.. oh yeah and there was a massacre on the 20th of July that has nothing to do with this story...lol Who writes this junk...

    August 16, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • MOCaseA

      Remember, the news has to sell itself. If it can't then we might actually decide to find out the news for ourselves.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Candace Clough

      so you don't think this guy packed a weapon just to respond if another movie massacre were to occur? He clearly doesn't carry regularly or he would have been aware to flip the safety on before shoving it in his pants.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. RasPutin

    Only dumb luck (emphasis on 'dumb') kept this oaf from wounding or killing another innocent patron.
    He should be treated like a DWI driver who got caught before he got into an accident.
    Nothing gives me chills like seeing a podunk packing a gun. Gee, what if he should take offense at my presence? Especially if he's had a few.

    August 16, 2012 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • sinixstar

      What on earth would give you any reason to think he'd take offense to your presence, that he'd been drinking, or that he's the kind of guy that would shoot you for no reason.

      This is exactly the irrational type of fear, generalizations, and stereotypes that makes people like yourself look so ridiculous.

      Old man dropped his gun and shot himself in the rear. Instead of "poetic justice" – you go off the rails and straight into the gutter. Shame on you.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. George Cantstandya

    Why waste tax payer dollars? He sounds like a guy that knows he screwed himself. This would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. I am a liberal saying this.

    August 16, 2012 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      There are all kinds of ways the guy could have been safely carrying his firearm. 1) spend a few dollars on a better holster; 2) verify the safety is on for Automatics; 3) for revolvers... stop depending on "Saturday night specials" that do not have a hammer block (again... spend a few dollars for a higher quality firearm); 4) be "situationally aware", ie, don't be asleep) 5) do not alter your mind whilst carrying... don't drink.... don't engage in emotional conversation.... 6) practice handling the thing every day for 6 months (in the case of stupid people) EMPTY , including "dry fire" exercises and all the "John Wayne" photography you need to satisfy your ego; and 7) lastly, but not least.... never aim at what you do not intend to kill or destroy including the field of fire beyond the target.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. gusydoc

    yup. And if his stray bullet hit your mom or child, well – accidents happen. Just be more careful next time.The risk of being shot while attending a movie is likely far less than dying in a plane crash. Maybe we should all fly with parachutes strapped to our backs.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      ...man .... it's a Helluva thing living in the wild wild West ...hein?

      August 16, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
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