Three people were injured on Saturday after a 12-gauge shotgun went off while being checked at a North Carolina gun show.
Authorities said at a Saturday afternoon press conference that the shotgun was being unzipped from its case at the security entrance to the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, North Carolina, when a round of birdshot pellets discharged, hitting three people.
The gun owner, who allegedly intended to sell the weapon at the show, was interviewed by police on Saturday afternoon, though there was no decision whether he would face charges.
“I want to emphasize that this was an accident,” said Joel Keith, public safety and security chief for the state Department of Agriculture.
One of the victims, a retired Wake County sheriff’s deputy, was treated and released. The other two victims — 54-year-old Janet Hoover, who was shot in the hand, and 50-year-old Linwood Hester, who was hit in the right torso — were hospitalized.
The show was shut down after the incident. Before closing, however, one attendee told The Raw Story he saw “ten times” the normal amount of people in attendance. Prices were also reportedly higher than normal: 30-round magazines, which normally sell for $12, were being listed at $30 by some sellers; and an AR-15 “Bushmaster” assault weapon, usually priced around $1,200 at the event, was being sold for $2,600.
Keith said that while the event will reopen on Sunday, no private gun sales will be allowed.