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Dog accidentally shoots, kills Kansas hunter by stepping on gun in pickup truck

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 1/25/2023 Robert Higgs,

WELLINGTON, Kansas – A hunter was killed after a dog in the back seat of a pickup truck stepped on a gun, causing it to accidentally discharge and shoot the hunter in the back.

The hunter, identified as Austin Smith, 30, of Wichita, died at the scene Saturday morning. Emergency response personnel tried CPR and other life-saving measures on him, according to media reports.

“A canine belonging to the owner of the pickup stepped on the rifle causing the weapon to discharge,” the Sumner County sheriff’s office told ABC affiliate KAKE television. “The fired round struck the passenger who died of his injuries on scene.”

The owner of the truck (and dog) was not identified.

Sumner County, with about 22,000 residents, is in south central Kansas south of Wichita.

The freak accident is by no means unique.

Several other notable canine-related gun incidents have occurred in recent years, CBS News said.

A 32-year-old new dad and Turkish hunter, Ozgur Gevrekoglu, was shot and killed in November 2022 when he was putting his dog into the back seat of his truck, CBS said, citing the newspaper Middle East Eye. The dog’s paw touched the loaded shotgun.

A pheasant hunter in north-central Iowa was accidentally shot and wounded in 2017 when a dog stepped on the shotgun trigger guard and the gun fired. A conservation officer for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said four hunters and two dogs were looking for the game birds when one of the hunters placed a loaded shotgun on the ground.

A New Mexico man told CBS affiliate KRQE-TV that he was shot by his 120-pound rottweiler mix named Charlie. Like the Kansas incident, the man was sitting in his truck, with his rifle in the backseat. The gun fired when the dog’s paw got caught in the trigger, sending a bullet through the driver’s seat, and breaking a few ribs and shattering his collarbone after hitting him in the back.

An analysis by the Washington Post in 2015 found there were at least 10 cases of dogs shooting people between 2004 and 2015. Half were labeled as hunting accidents. Forty percent occurred in vehicles.

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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