Boy died Sunday after he was accidentally shot in the neck at an indoor gun range. The incident occurred at about 3:15 p.m. at High Noon Guns, 4583 Bee Ridge Road, according to a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office report.
The boy, whose name was not released by authorities Sunday, was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, the report said. He later died, authorities said, and the investigation is ongoing. Workers at the gun shop declined to talk to the media Sunday, as did law enforcement.
An October 2013 Herald-Tribune article described the High Noon gun range as possibly being one of the safest indoor shooting ranges ever designed.
High Noon Guns owner John Buchan reportedly traveled the country, examining other indoor ranges, before building his own. The nine-lane operation he designed is quieter than most, the Herald-Tribune reported, thanks to sound-dampening panels, and safer than most, thanks to strategically placed armored steel plates, which are concealed behind wooden walls. Bullets are absorbed by a large mound of granulated rubber material heaped into a pile downrange, which is backed up by more steel plating capable of stopping a 20mm cannon, although High Noon limits the range to handguns and .22 rifles, the story said. The dividers between the shooters feature more armor, concealed by wood — a feature Buchan chose to increase safety. The walls are lined with sound-dampening panels that are built to both reduce noise and absorb a stray round, preventing ricochets. “It’s as safe as we could make it,” the story quoted Buchan as saying.
Sunday’s accidental shooting is the second death at an area gun range in the past year.
Last August, sheriff’s deputies were called to the Take Aim Gun Range after a customer killed himself on the firing line with a rented pistol. The man, in his 70s, came to the range in the afternoon to target shoot with two friends. After the three men finished shooting and as the victim’s two friends were walking out, the man turned the handgun on himself and fired. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
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