Student Dies After Prop Gun Discharges

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Student Dies After Prop Gun Discharges Before Play Performance

Sunday , November 16, 2008
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ST.GEORGE, Utah —
A 17-year-old Washington County high school student died Saturday after firing a blank-shooting prop pistol used for a play. Authorities say the Desert Hills student died from head injuries. The pistol was found in the student's hands shortly before the play "Oklahoma!" was scheduled to begin.
St. George Police Captain Bruce Graham says there were no bullets in the gun, but the gas in it has the same energy that a bullet does.
The boy was the only person in the sound booth when the cast of "Oklahoma!" heard a loud noise at approximately 6:20 p.m., Graham said.
The boy was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center, but died about 10 p.m. as hospital officials were preparing to airlift him to a Las Vegas hospital.
The boy's name has not been released.
"I'm uncertain of the condition or circumstances of this unfortunate situation," said Marshall Topham, assistant superintendent of secondary education for the Washington County School District. "We're shocked and saddened to learn of it."
The cast and crew was rehearsing for the play just before their performance when the incident happened. Chase Leary was inside the high school's theater when he heard the prop gun fire.
"All I heard was screaming, and someone saying call 911," Leary said.
He said most people inside the theater were crying.
"I'm pretty overwhelmed," said Randy Johnson, a stage hand for the play, who wasn't inside the school when the shooting happened. ""He is a pretty close friend of mine."
Graham said detectives are investigating the incident.
This is the second time police have been called to the school as a result of a prop gun.
Police responded to the school on Oct. 10 after students reported seeing a person enter the school with a gun. The person who entered the school was actually a drama member with a prop gun for the play.

FOXNews.com - Student Dies After Prop Gun Discharges Before Play Performance - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News



Now this raises the question, where was the muzzle pointed? (I don't mean to be insensitive)
 

DrBart2

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Mar 10, 2008
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I have heard that it is very common for people who are not familiar with firearms, to believe guns shooting blanks are completely safe. What has happened in the past (and may have happened here) , some actor takes the gun (believing it is harmless) puts it to his head and pretends to commit suicide. Resulting in actually killing themselves. There was a young movie actor (can't remember his name) that did this 10 to 15 years ago. A real shame. Whoever owns the gun should only let actors who are aware of the dangers handle the weapon.
 

Shorts

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DrBart, that's exactly what I was thinking happened.

Yeah, folks think air pressure is harmless but they're sorely mistaken in this case. The thing that comes to mind right now is the air pressure from the compressor. I'm sure we've all used the nozzle to blow a divot in our hand or arm and see how our skin distorts. Can you imagine an immediate and concentrated shot from a loaded primer???
 

Shorts

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I doubt that this person even knew there'd be anything coming out of the barrel.

True - they probably didn't.

So who is the teacher and why hasn't he/she done the safety brief about it BEFORE giving to the students??
 

40Arpent

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I doubt that this person even knew there'd be anything coming out of the barrel.
I might be wrong about that...

While his Eagle Scout son knew how to use shotguns
and .22-caliber rifles, he had never been trained how to
use a pistol because he wasn't old enough. And Tucker
didn't know how dangerous blanks can be, his father
said.
 

djspump2003

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Oct 19, 2008
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I watched the Senate panel discussion on Waco: Rules of Engagement where Chuck Schumer said that flash bang grenades cannot injure a person. I wonder if he knows that blank guns can kill too? Drama kids should take physics too.
 

40Arpent

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If anyone thinks air can't kill, watch "No Country for Old Men".
Isn't there a steel rod in that apparatus that is pushed out by the air pressure?
 
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