Accidental Discharge in Daytona Hotel Possibly Hits 12-Year-Old Boy
Russ Chastain 07.25.14
Davis Scott, a 59-year-old Georgia resident, was staying in the Daytona Beach Wyndham Ocean Walk Resort yesterday morning when he did an unwise thing: He fired his pistol into the wall of his room.
Although claimed to be an accident–and I’m certain that he wasn’t actually trying to shoot his neighbors–descriptions of the incident make it pretty clear that he intentionally pulled the trigger.
According to a local news story, Scott claimed that his 9mm Makarov pistol had come out of its holster in his bag. For some unknown reason, this prompted him to remove the pistol’s magazine, point it at the wall, and pull the trigger. Whether he expected the gun to be empty (he clearly hadn’t checked it) isn’t as important as the fact that he pointed it in an unsafe direction and pulled the trigger.
The room next to Scott’s contained two children and their mother. One of the children, a 12-year-old boy, said he felt something hit him in the torso right after he heard the shot in the next room. No mark could be found on his body and he was not injured, so it’s unclear whether he was struck by the bullet, part of the wall, or nothing at all.
Whether the boy was struck is immaterial, as we clearly have a gun owner who made a big mistake. Scott didn’t try to dodge consequences by keeping quiet, though. Instead, he knocked on the door of the room next door to explain and apologize. Faced with the ire of a protective mother, he retreated to his room to await the arrival of police.
Police Chief Mike Chitwood said that he thought Davis Scott should be charged and sent a complaint affidavit to the State Attorney’s Office. He was quoted as saying, “[W]e want him (Scott) charged. I don’t buy the accidental discharge story. A gun can only go off when you press the trigger.”
The number one gun safety rule is to always point a gun in a safe direction. Clearly, Mr. Scott failed to do so.
Scott was not violating any hotel rules or laws by possessing the gun.