Gun free zone

A man is reported to have accidentally fired a round from his pistol on Monday in a Stillwater Walmart.

Just before 1 p.m., Stillwater Police received a report that a shot had been fired at the Walmart Supercenter located at 4545 W. 6th Ave. The call was logged as “illegal discharge of a weapon,” Capt. Kyle Gibbs said.

The incident occurred almost two hours before police were notified.

Gibbs said the report indicates that an older man accidentally fired a round near the store’s jewelry department. The gun appears to have still been in his holster when the shot was fired.

“He said he’d dropped it earlier,” Gibbs said. “There is speculation that his jacket snagged the trigger.”

No one was injured and the man was asked to leave the store.

When officers arrived, the manager explained that the store has a policy in place and doesn’t want guns inside the business, Gibbs said.

Although Oklahoma now allows most adult residents to openly carry guns, it is still a crime to point a gun at someone, threaten someone with a gun, or discharge a gun in a public place.

Businesses also have the right to establish policies prohibiting guns on their premises.

People first began hearing about the incident when a shopper who was in the store when the gun went off made a personal Facebook post about it.

She said it had taken her two hours to calm down.

“While walking to the checkout at Walmart, I heard an extremely loud pop right behind me,” she wrote. “I heard someone yell, ‘Oh my gosh, are you okay?’ I turned to see an older gentleman putting his revolver back in his pocket. He had accidentally fired his gun in Walmart just a few feet away from me. As soon as I saw him I wasn’t afraid because I knew it was an accident.

It was the ‘what ifs’ that really got to me. I was a shaking mess and could barely put my card up to swipe it.

“1. I’m thankful it wasn’t a crazy shooter.

2. I’m thankful my kids weren’t with me.

3. I’m thankful the bullet didn’t ricochet and hit anyone … it could have easily hit me.”

When contacted by the News Press, she agreed to speak but asked that her name not be used because of the controversy surrounding what law enforcement calls statutory carry.

“I’m so torn on all of this. I’m sure he was humiliated and I hate that for him. It was a bad situation,” she wrote. “As a mom, a permitted carrier and an educator, I struggle with this new law and don’t want to be in the middle of it.”

But when she learned about the delay in contacting police, she expressed anger, saying she did not feel the situation was handled properly.

The case is still open but police don’t have a name for the suspect, who was long gone before officers arrived.

Twitter: @mcharlesNP

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