A father who regularly took his kids to an indoor shooting range and taught them gun safety is grieving the death of his son after a freak accident that occurred while taking target practice in Sarasota, Florida, on Sunday afternoon.
William Clayton Brumby, 64, accidentally shot his 14-year-old son, Stephen Brumby, who was transported to Sarasota Memorial hospital where he died of his injuries, according to WFTS and CNN.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday that no charges are pending against the father, CNN reported.
The incident occurred at the High Noon Gun Shop and gun range where the father of seven had taken three of his children, including 24-year-old David and a 12-year-old daughter, as he did routinely once or twice a month.
“We wanted our kids to be aware of guns,” Clayton Brumby told CNN. “I wanted them to be comfortable around them and understand them.”
The accident happened at 3:15 p.m. when Clayton fired a round at a target. The hot shell casing bounced off the wall and fell into the back of his shirt, the sheriff’s office told CNN.
While trying to remove the casing, Clayton reached behind his back with the hand that was holding the gun and inadvertently pulled the trigger. The round hit the ceiling and ricocheted down and hit his son.
“The gun didn’t kill my boy. I did,” he told CNN. “Every round in the gun is your responsibility. When it fires you need to stand to account for it. That’s what I’ve spent the last two days doing, accounting for my operating error…
“It was a freak accident, I made a mistake.
“It doesn't take but a split second for something to go wrong and that could be [the case] with a gun, it could be with the wrong medicine, it could be with any number of things.”
David Brumby also called it a freak accident.
“No matter how calm you try to stay, there’s no way to wipe the images away from your mind of your little brother bleeding out in your arms,” David told WFTS.
John Buchan, the co-owner of the gun shop, told WFTS he couldn’t have prevented the tragedy even if he had been standing right next to him, adding that “there was a freak breakdown in the personal safety of owning and operating a firearm that never should’ve happened.”
Clayton and the family were relying on their faith to get them through the tragic ordeal.
“I can’t fix this,” he told CNN. “It’s just a great loss, but thankfully we’ll see him [again] someday.”