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. Kay

    Wow. As someone said, he's damn lucky the bullet didn't hit someone in the theater.

    I think theatergoers are in more danger from careless idiots who don't know how to carry their guns properly than from the lunatics who plot out shooting sprees.

    August 16, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      "idiots who don't know how to carry their guns properly"

      How about idiots who carry guns, period.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Beadlesaz

      Kay – my sentiments exactly.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scott Pilgrim

    If I was watching any of those Bourne movies, I'd shoot myself too.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Drew

    I got my gun man now I'm tough... What a bunch of cowards these gun folks are. Walkin around scared all day hoping for a chance to pull their guns.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • wrong

      I assure you that is the vast minority of legal gun carriers. There are millions of legally armed Americans walking around every day. If they were such a risk, the news would be filled every night with stories of "old west" shootouts, etc. I carry, and I'm not "scared", just prepared. Do you consider yourself scared when you put on your seatbelt? Are you hoping you have an accident so your seatbelt can be of use? I hope I NEVER need my weapon. Ever. Also, I don't think I'm "tough". I don't venture into areas or situations with a weapon that I wouldn't go into unarmed. That's why police carry. I don't think I'm a cop, I don't think I'm a tough guy, and I don't walk around hoping for the chance to be a hero. Sure, there are a few out there who are like that, but a very small minority. I carry for the situations I CAN'T imagine or expect. Like my uncle, who was about to get into the shower when 6 or 7 men broke into his home to rob him. He walked into the hallway (in only his underwear) to find a man coming at him with a crowbar over his head ready to strike. My uncle grabbed a rifle and chased them all out. I live in a very low-crime area, but it's also very rural. Average police response time is around 15-20 minutes here. Frankly, any situation that endangers your life or well-being is OVER by the time they show up. And really, those of you in the city who think "well we have a lot more cops here", if you really think the police can get there in time to help you with a dangerous home invader, you're fooling yourself. And with home invasions on the rise (especially by the meth heads and scrip abusers), it's only going to get worse.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Thanks for the chuckle. By the way, your shoes are on the wrong feet. Who dresses you in the mornings?

      August 16, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. NC cajun

    I've legally carried a pistol for over 30 years but have never put a weapon in my pocket. Always have it properly holstered and have never had one fall out. I won’t use a belly band either since I’d like to keep the family jewels in place. Yes a good holster is not cheap but should be a requirement for anyone who wishes to carry a weapon. You don’t see the police with a pistol tucked carelessly in their belt or hanging out of a pocket because it is a dangerous practice. He should also be charged with being an idiot and forced to take a safety class every year as a reminder of just how stupid it is to carry a gun un-holstered.
    This is only done by thugs who think it’s cool to have a gun tucked into the front of their pants; just like holding a weapon sideways is only done in the movies since it highly likely to cause it to jam. To bad we don’t have a test for common sense as this guy would most certainly fail.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      Thugs hold the gun sideways because the box says "This side up".

      August 16, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. jed

    I don't have problem's with concealed carry. However I do think that it is irresponsible to carry a chambered gun as it only takes a fraction of a second to rack the slide.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I agree! I only chamber when I'm ready to gently start squeeeeeeezing the trigger. BOOM!

      August 16, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. citizenUSA

    Unless the gun malfunctioned, the man apparently does not have any gun safety sense and should have his carry permit revoked. I'm glad I have mine but it's too easy to get one in some states. Anyone can carry a gun but knowing how to use it in a situation can take years, if you ever get it, (seeing as luckily we don't have to deal with many situations). Sometimes we think we know what we'd do in a situation but if it comes, you'd find out how easy it is to be forgetful.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. CarmenSo

    I didn't realize that the safest way to carry a gun was to put it in your pocket. Silly me I thought they made gun holsters for that. Also, since I am not a gun owner and I am not really sure about this, but I thought that all guns had a safety on them that prevent this very sort of thing from happening.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • William

      not all. Some glocks don't have safeties; the real problem is that he's a moron and had a round in the chamber, which one is never suppose to do unless they are ready to fire.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      There is no such thing as a mechanical safety. Okay, they exist, but they also fail. My glock doesn't have a traditional safety, it has a trigger safety. Basically if your finger isn't properly on the trigger, it won't pull. I guess the idea was to prevent the trigger getting caught on something and accidently going off. I didn't even know it was there until a friend of mine couldn't get it to fire at the range.

      Your safety, the one that works, is being careful with it. I don't chamber a round unless I plan to fire and if I'm carrying a revolver the hammer sits on an empty chamber. Good holsters are always appropriate.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. LuisWu

    There's no cure for stupid. This guy will probably get a Darwin award one of these days.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. what?

    What kind of Saturday night special was this guy carrying? Modern weapons include safeties that prevent discharge if the hammer drops and the trigger is not also being pulled. At least mine does, and I'd never carry one that doesn't.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Retro

      Exactly my point as well.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. rednex

    This country is really going down the drain and it's all thanks to the Republicans for their relentless racist campaigns and support of groups like the tea baggers. Guns are great and all, but the one thing they really do for American's is that it helps low income/low class whites show that they still have some type of power against the "man". Why are guns necessary? If you get RID of them, others wouldn't have the sorry excuse that they are needed for protection against others that carry them. Kind of like the chicken and the egg thing...

    August 16, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Why_Bother

    Movie theaters are so much safer when everyone has a gun

    August 16, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Beadlesaz

      I'm so glad I prefer watching movies in the comfort of my own home. (I have cheaper & better snacks, too!)

      August 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SMKE

    It is morons like this that make normal CCW citizens worried.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. JoeProfet

    You've heard of "butt dialing...", now there is "butt shooting!" Brings a new meaning to shooting from the hip...maybe a lil' bit lower.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bman

    The Jokers revenge. funny.

    August 16, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. bz

    All you gun control freaks should just realize that if you ban guns, the idiots will just find another way to hurt themselves and others..... laws won't stop idiots.

    August 16, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • atroy

      Yeah...and auto insurance, speed limits, traffic signs and driver's licences don't stop people from having auto accidents so lets just deregulate driving and let everyone have at it.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Deej59

      It wouldn't have stopped this because this was an unintentional fluke. If it was very, very difficult to get assault weapons, however, fewer massacres like the one in Aurora will happen. It's just a fact. Look at other countries where they've restricted access to assault weapons. They still have a massacre now and then because there are some people willing to jump through a million hoops to secure such weapons, but they become shocking rarities instead of depressingly common. By the way, if we're "freaks" for wanting a safer world, then so be it.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
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