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Gun shop owner fatally shot during weapons safety class

The Independent The Independent 19/06/2016 Andrew Buncombe
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The owner of a gunshop in Ohio has been shot and killed as a weapons safety class was taking place at his business.

James Baker, 64, was in a room adjoining the class where a lesson was underway for around 10 people permitted to carry concealed weapons, when one gun was apparently discharged by accident.

Sheriff AJ Rodenberg told local media that one of the students fired by accident while practicing “weapons-malfunction drills.’’ Mr Baker was pronounced dead at the scene on Saturday afternoon.

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The lesson had been taking place at the KayJay Gun Shop, which sells, repairs and engraves firearms and has the authorisation to manufacture its own guns and ammunition. It is located in Monroe Township, 25 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

Neighbour Anita Fritz recalled Mr Baker as a man who was much loved and spent his life teaching others how to protect themselves.

“I can’t say enough about him – how much he was loved by the whole community – and we lost someone really special,” she told the WCPO-TV news channel. “He loved and wanted to protect. That’s why he did what he did.”

Another neighbor Sherri Ward, said Mr Baker serviced law enforcement officers’ weapons. He was “very well known” in the community as a result of his work and his friendly attitude, she said.

According to the gun shop’s website, the class taught basic pistol safety, gave students range time and reviewed Ohio’s gun laws. The student who fired the weapon has not been identified.

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