ORANGEVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Police intend to charge a gun show vendor who accidentally shot a woman while demonstrating a concealed carry wallet holster.
Geoffrey Hawk, 44, of Warminster, should face a reckless endangerment charge, Bloomsburg police Officer Brad Sharrow said Monday. The Columbia County district attorney still has to approve the charge.
Krista Gearhart, 25, was shot in the thigh on Saturday at the Eagle Arms Gun Show at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in central Pennsylvania. She was treated at a hospital and released.
Gearhart told the (Bloomsburg) Press Enterprise on Sunday that the vendor was "doing his job" and her heart goes out to him for what she called the "horrible accident."
But Sharrow told The Associated Press on Monday that Hawk displayed "gross negligence."
"He admitted it was his fault and certainly feels bad about what took place. But the guy's a firearms instructor so he should've known better than to pull the trigger on a weapon" without checking to make sure it was unloaded, Sharrow told the AP.
Hawk did not immediately return phone messages Monday.
Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Authorities said the dealer told officers that he thought the gun was unloaded, and that he had done the same demonstration about 20 times without incident before the shooting. He said he had left the gun on display while he completed background checks on several customers, and that it was possible someone loaded the weapon when he was busy.