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Thread: St. George teen killed when gun discharges

  1. #1
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    St. George teen killed when gun discharges

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4812167

    St. George teen killed when gun discharges
    November 16th, 2008 @ 10:00pm
    By Sandra Yi
    A 15-year-old St. George high school student is dead, killed by a gun used in a school musical. The gun was loaded with blanks, and was being used for sound effects.

    Police say Tucker Thayer was setting up for the musical at Desert Hills High School Saturday night when the gunshot rang out. He was found lying on the ground with severe head injuries.


    Officers are still investigating how this happened. Thayer's parents didn't want to talk on camera, but they told us a real gun should not have been allowed in the school.

    Thayer was part of the tech crew for the high school's production of "Oklahoma!" Friends say he was proud of his role.

    "In fact, that's all he was talking about, that he was part of the production," Thayer's neighbor, Brett Jensen, said.


    Thayer was by the stage Saturday night, preparing for the show. Police say other students nearby heard a loud bang, but no one saw what happened. Investigators say a gun, loaded with blanks, discharged.

    "The gases, the pressure that it would build up, such a close proximity where the gun was pointed at the individual's head, caused the injury," explained St. George police Sgt. James Van Fleet.

    Police say the school allowed the production crew to use the gun for sound effects during the musical. "It was determined that a responsible adult would be supervising the use of the weapon at all times," Van Fleet said.



    Thayer's family says the teen knew a lot about guns. He was a certified range instructor for the Boy Scouts. But his parents don't think he knew the dangers of blanks.

    "He had a heart of gold, and he would do anything for you; and if you asked him for help, he'd bend over backwards to get it done," Jensen said.

    Police are investigating whether there was enough supervision.

    We tried to contact administrators with the school district and were referred to the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, but he did not return our call.

    The school's assistant principal said he didn't know enough about what happened to answer any questions, and said the district would release a statement Monday.

  2. #2
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    Investigators say a gun, loaded with blanks, discharged.
    Investigators say a gun, loaded with blanks, discharged was fired by someone.

    Always treat the gun like it is loaded, even with blanks it shouldn't ever be pointed at somebody.

  3. #3
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    Not true

    Thayer's family says the teen knew a lot about guns
    I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that this kid clearly violated, or allowed someone in his presense to violate the most basic of gun rules. My heart goes out to the family for sure but this was bad decision making and the inevitable consequences.

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    A 15-year-old St. George high school student is dead, killed by a gun used in a school musical.
    Sounds more like he was killed by a person (sadly, probably himself) who failed to exercise proper caution.
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    I'm sorry, but whoever brought a functioning handgun capable of firing real ammunition into that school is probably facing a whole host of criminal charges. There are numerous federal felonies on the table.

    ...At least I think it would have had to have been a real handgun. Wouldn't a prop gun meant to be a prop, have the barrel welded shut? It sounds to me like it was a real handgun, simply loaded with blanks. He probably put it to his head and fired it. Hot gasses at 1000fps+ would simply knock a piece of his skull through his brain.

    Anyway, it will end up being the taxpayers that foot the bill for the inevitable settlement.

    Very very sad all around.
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    This is definitely a tragedy. Obviously, rules, and laws, were violated. I hope this was a freak accident but it does not seem like it. The gun, most probably, did not go off by itself. Sad all around. My heart, and prayers, go out to the family, and students affected.

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    i was not aware that firearms discharged. i.e. i could discharge said firearm, yet it cannot discharge on it's on.
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    it cannot discharge on it's own
    I dunno, there are probably plenty of cheap crap guns out there that could under the right circumstances (cocked, safety off, worn out sear...) have a mechanical failure and drop the hammer.

    I doubt that's the case here.
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    Death by Prop Gun ...

    Attached link shows ABC News video reporting a student's death by a prop gun.

    I've fired blanks from real guns, but never had the occasion to examine/shoot a prop gun.

    I've always been under the impression that on the prop guns the barrel was not a full through bore and that there was some sort of baffle associated with them. Guess I was wrong ... or the gun was not a "prop".

    I do know that for military ceremonies that involve riffle salutes (funerals mostly) the muzzle of the rifle is equipped with a special device.

    I also know that most "movie" guns are non-firing, resin replicas and the sound is dubbed in, with visual cuts to firing guns.

    Can anyone provide further info. on how prop guns are supposed to be built?

    This "gas pressure" theory just don't strike me as right, even though I know that highly compressed air (gas) can cause serious injuries, so to the head it just might be lethal.

    Link is as follows: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6269559

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    Even if all those things happened together miraculously without a finger on the trigger, keeping it pointed away from one's head is still rule number two.

    As sad as it is, the reality is that we STILL live in a world where actions have consequences, and this is the consequence of the very foolish action of someone (probably the deceased). We insulate ourselves from this truth, but it remains true. It's an important, if unpleasant, reminder.
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    Life imitates art.

    A number of years ago, the "hunk" co-star of some very forgettable television show was playing Russian roulette with a blank-firing prop gun, and blew his brains out (or in, as the case may be).

    Someone who was a range instructor should have known better. I'm wondering if perhaps one of his schoolmates decided to play a little prank, then dropped the gun and scooted when the prank went bad. I hope the police check the gun for fingerprints.

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    Duplicate threads on topic merged.
    Send lawyers, guns, and money . . .

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    "hunk" co-star of some very forgettable television show
    Jon-Erik Hexum.

    The force of a "blank" if the muzzle is pressed to the head is expected to be lethal--which the police Sgt. pretty much said.

    Pretty obvious to anyone who knows anything about guns. This poor guy--and/or one of his friends--apparently didn't. Even though he was a "range-master."

    As it is "understood" these days that most teens haven't got a clue about guns or gun safety--and are not responsible for their own safety--the prop "man" is toast. Unless he, too, is a "kid" (common practice in high-school productions) in which the Dramatics teacher, the principal, and the town (since this was a public school) are all headed to court.

    Sad--that no one teaches gun safety to many kids anymore. I suspect the "cure" for this will be to outlaw prop guns from high schools--not bring back gun safety instruction to public schools.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loosedhorse
    Unless he, too, is a "kid" (common practice in high-school productions) in which the Dramatics teacher, the principal, and the town (since this was a public school) are all headed to court.
    Slight correction - it would be the school district and not the town. School districts in Utah can span many municipalities.

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    At the Old West shoot outs that I am involved with we do a demonstration of the power of a blank. This is done using an empty aluminum can and a short rod (3 ft) to hold it with. Using a full charge 3-1 BP blank the muzzle of a 7 1/2" SAA is put against the can and the trigger pulled. The can will fly 15-30ft and will have one side blasted open by the gasses!!!
    A lot of comments like" WOW I thought blanks were SAFE!!!

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  17. #17
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    Evidently the school officials were unaware that the "prop" gun was a real firearm, and had been offered for use by a parent of a student...

    And the stupid keeps piling up.

    http://www.sltrib.com/ci_11009705
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  18. #18
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    Victim Of Gun Control

    We don't teach gun safety in schools.

    Why?

    We're trying to eliminate guns, and if you teach people how to be safe with them, they won't be scared of guns any more, and the fear mongering campaign will lose some of its power.

    Of course, willfully stifling any kind of meaningful data about guns and how they really work leads to a complete ignorance and/or false impressions about guns and how they work.

    Which leads to ignorant people doing ignorant things with guns, ". . . how was I to know . . . ?"

    *Sigh*


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  19. #19
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    Arfin, let's be fair, this is St. George, Utah. It's a very very red part of the country. I think there were a number of negligent people involved in a stupendously bad chain of events. If anything, perhaps these folks were too non-chalant about guns and gun safety.
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    I assert that Arfin is being fair.

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    A better than usual news story

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4823670

    Experts say St. George tragedy emphasizes importance of gun safety
    November 17, 2008


    Many people don't realize that a blank can kill a person. There's no bullet in a blank, but there's just as much gun powder as if there were.

    Following the death of a St. George teen on Saturday, we decided to show you a demonstration of what a blank can do.

    A .38-caliber revolver loaded with blanks can tear apart paper, plastic, even an aluminum can.

    In a blank, instead of a bullet, there's a piece of cardboard that keeps the gun powder inside. "This piece of cardboard feels the same pressure as a heavier projectile, a bullet, would feel," explained Matt DeLong, with the Utah Precision Marksmanship Society.


    It's that energy being released from the gun that can be deadly. "You treat all guns the same -- toy guns, prop guns, air guns, BB guns, whatever caliber guns," DeLong said.

    It's something the average person may not know, but should.

    In light of the gun accident that killed 15-year-old Tucker Thayer in St. George this weekend, Millie Boyd, captain of a Utah pistol team wonders, "Why weren't there safeguards in place? And then loading powder, which has got noise and pressure to be able to cause harm to another human being, why weren't these students trained in the proper use of this? Why weren't they out looking for another prop that they could use or a different form of noise that could be made?"


    The Washington County School District released a statement this morning, saying: "The district is troubled about the accessibility and use of an operable firearm on school property ... and will carefully consider its policies and procedures."

    Both federal and state law says students cannot posses any type of firearm or weapons, real or fake, on school property.

    If you would like to attend a Utah Shooting Sports Council gun safety class, contact Elden Bodily at (801) 262-7321. The next class is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 29, at 9 a.m. at the Naval Science Building on the University of Utah campus. The class is free, but donations are encouraged.

    E-mail: corton@ksl.com

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    Police are investigating whether there was enough supervision.
    i'm going to go out on a limb here and predict the results of this investigation: no.

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    I'm sorry, but whoever brought a functioning handgun capable of firing real ammunition into that school is probably facing a whole host of criminal charges. There are numerous federal felonies on the table.
    Like what?
    On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

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    Like what?
    I guess I was thinking of the GCA '68 provisions that prohibit bringing a firearm on school grounds or even within 1000' of a school. However, upon reading the relevant sections, I guess there is an exception for weapons used in approved school activities.

    I take it back then. However the school administrators were horribly negligent IMHO. The parents will sue them, and the school district, and the taxpayers will pay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugerlvr
    I guess I was thinking of the GCA '68 provisions that prohibit bringing a firearm on school grounds or even within 1000' of a school. However, upon reading the relevant sections, I guess there is an exception for weapons used in approved school activities.

    I take it back then. However the school administrators were horribly negligent IMHO. The parents will sue them, and the school district, and the taxpayers will pay.
    No school in Utah (where the shooting occured) that uses federal money can ban ccw on its campus. Of course, they can have policies against their kids using guns, but the good thing is they can't pass a bunch of anti-gun policies. The only school policies they can make are ones that prevent fewer tradgedies than proper gun safety training would.

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