Even the tightest venue security measures can't account for every contingency — such as a loaded gun being pulled by a child from a Jeep on display for Veterans Appreciation Day.
That's what happened Tuesday night during a University of Memphis baseball game against the University of Tennessee-Martin. The annual W.S. "Babe" Howard Classic was taking place at U.S.A. Stadium in Millington, Tenn., where a World War II Jeep was parked. An eight-year-old boy found what he thought was a toy gun, picked it up out of the vehicle and shot a round at his mother, who was critically injured but conscious when taken to Regional One Hospital. The game was cancelled.
As reported by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the gun was registered to Charles McFarland Jr., a 76-year-old resident of Atoka. He was charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and is being held without bond.
"Everybody's got a right to carry if they've got a permit," Millington police chief Mark Dunbar said. "But you need to use common sense about securing your weapons."
The Memphis athletic department released a statement, which read, "We are saddened by the unfortunate accidental shooting at the baseball game at USA Stadium in Millington. The University of Memphis is cooperating fully with authorities in the investigation. Our deepest thoughts are with the family."