Dear gun owners,
Firearms should not be “played with”. They aren’t LEGOS. They aren’t Transformers. They are deadly weapons designed for death and destruction. If 27-year-old Ashton Blake Salvato had treated his gun as the deadly weapon it is, rather than playing with it like a toy, his 3-year-old daughter would likely still be alive:
According to an arrest affidavit, a witness told police that the young girl’s father, 27-year-old Ashton Blake Salvato, was “playing with a gun” when he shot the young girl.
The apparent accidental shooting took place at a home in the 3600 block of Del Mar Court just before 12:20 p.m. The girl, identified as Cessa Joy Salvato, was rushed to Metroplex Hospital, where she died from her injuries.
According to the arrest affidavit, Salvato told police he checked the chamber of his gun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and didn’t see a round in the chamber.
On Sunday, Salvato was arrested and arraigned on a second-degree felony charge of manslaughter in connection with the shooting. He is in custody in Bell County Jail on $1 million bond.
Cessa Joy Salvato’s death marks the sixth homicide death in Killeen for 2015, according to previous Herald reports. All six of those deaths involved firearms.
It sickens me that so many people fight against LGBT equality in this country, while ignoring the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in our culture. Marriage equality, LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances, adoption rights for LGBT people…none of these things harms anyone. Yet so many politicians and civilians fight tooth and nail against efforts to advance the rights of LGBT people. But an issue where people actually do suffer? An issue that sees thousands of citizens injured or killed every year? Why aren’t these politicians and civilians fighting against gun violence?
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The victim, 47-year-old William Petrofsky, drove himself to Florida Hospital Flagler prior to officers’ arrival to be treated for his gunshot wound, which reportedly grazed the front of his left thigh and left a 15-centimeter graze mark. The injuries required the man to receive stitches before being discharged from the hospital early the next morning.
The victim told police he was walking out of the night club into the parking lot when he reached into his pocket for his keys and his handgun discharged inadvertently. Reports indicate authorities do not plan to file charges against the man, citing the fact that no one was injured and no property damaged during the shooting. Police recovered a heavily damaged slug at the scene. Bunnell police officials said Tuesday, however, that the investigation remains ongoing and charges are pending in the case.
In case you’re wondering what makes this story an example of irresponsible gun ownership-
Petrofsky reportedly had a license to carry a concealed weapon, investigators noted. Florida state law, nevertheless, precludes even concealed carriers from toting their firearms when they are under the influence or when they are on the premises of an establishment that serves and sells alcoholic beverages.
No one should be toting a gun into a bar. But this is our gun culture at work.
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The 29-year-old man called 911 at about 9 p.m. from his house in the 1600 block of South Edgemoor, Lt. James Espinoza said. The bullet struck the man’s left leg just above his knee and broke his femur.
The victim admitted to police he had been drinking and smoking marijuana before he decided to clean his gun, Espinoza said. Officers found a marijuana pipe at the man’s house, supporting his account of events.
A police document indicated the man shot himself with a 10mm Smith & Wesson. He was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment.
“I want to emphasize the dangers of firearms, even when cleaning them,” Espinoza said.
Owners should make sure the weapons are unloaded before cleaning them, he said.
A responsible gun owner should know that. They should also know that wielding a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance is not a good idea.
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According to the Gwinnett Police incident report, Larry Jefferson Rooks admitted to shooting the cat with his .22 rifle when he saw the animal come onto his property on Spring Street between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. April 11.
“The suspect stated he shot at the cat because it was coming to his property to pass fleas to his dog,” the incident report stated.
The cat was named Bellyrub, according to a WSB-TV report, which said the pet was owned by sisters, who keep several pets at their Williams Street residence. One of the sisters, Marie Nichols, told Channel 2, “It knocked me off my rocker, ya’ll. I could understand if it was rabid or something. To hurt an innocent cat, there’s no excuse for it.”
Rooks, 74, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. He was released April 12 on a $2,400 bond, according to Gwinnett County Jail records.
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According to witness statements, Matthew Wesley Robert Harvey, 26, and his female friend, Jordan Lynch, 30, were at a residence preparing to leave for the evening.
Lynch was cleaning out her purse and when she removed her handgun, she accidentally shot Harvey in the knee, a sheriff’s office news release states.
Lynch drove Jordan to a gas station on Sardis Church Road where they met an ambulance, the news release states.
You’d think a responsible gun owner would take great pains to handle their weapon with care.