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Hartselle Enquirer

A look back to accidental shootings

Intentional use of firearms to maim or kill someone is all too frequent in our contemporary society.  Nevertheless, our Constitution in the Second Amendment safeguards the right to own and use guns.

  On rare occasions, the uses to which owners of firearms put them are the last things they ever expected to happen. Particularly is this the case when one family member accidentally kills another.

  April 10, 1891–Mr. Strange accidentally shot and killed his wife, six miles northwest of Oneonta, this morning. He took his gun down to kill a hawk and it went off, killing her instantly. 

  April 13, 1895–A shooting affray occurred at Columbia (near Moulton) tonight, in which Felix Brown and Fred Ashford participated. The farmers are business partners. There were 15 or 16 shots fired. Mr. Brown had just gotten back from Mississippi, where he had been for two or three months. As he got off the 1 o’clock train and started home he saw Ashford app-roaching him with a double-barrel shotgun. It was then that the shooting began. No motive has been identified.

  Feb. 10, 1896–There was sold at public auction today of a quantity of brandy in kegs, a shot gun, a wagon, a team of mules, etc., belonging to a man found illicitly making liquor.

  May 30, 1906–Frank Briton of New Decatur was shot dead this morning at 2 o’clock by John Muzzy, a farmer, at the home of the latter near Flint, five miles north of Hartselle. Briton, while temporarily deranged, left home yesterday and wandered off. He tried to crawl through a window in Muzzy’s home and Muzzy, thinking he was a burglar, shot him twice with a double-barrel shot gun.

  Feb. 3, 1911–Mystery surrounds the serious shooting of Tom Evans and young Balew near Falkville late last night. Evans received a load of shot in the left shoulder and may die. He was also badly shot in the right heel. Balew’s right arm is nearly shot off, one bone being entirely shot in two. The report says Tom Evans objected to Balew and his mother living in a cabin into which they had just moved, and going to the cabin broke open the door, at which point he was shot in the shoulder by a supposed strange man from within. Then entering the house, a free-for-all fight took place with guns in the darkness in which Evans was shot in the heel and the Balew boy in the arm. Who shot Evans from within the house is not known.

  May 22, 1911–A sad accident happened this afternoon a mile east of Hartselle when Ida, the little three and a half year-old daughter of Commodore Rowman, was shot by her cousin, a boy seven years of age. The boy’s father had been hunting and without going in the house to put away the gun which had a double-barreled safety which could be turned to the on or off position. He gave it to the little boy to keep for him temporarily and the accident occurred shortly thereafter. The father claimed that he had the safety on; if so, the boy worked it off. The child was shot in the chest and abdomen and died several hours afterward.