Cops: Joe Colter Accidentally Shot Friend, Says He Never Received Handgun's Owner's Manual

Categories: Guns

joe-colter.jpg
Joe Colter didn't receive an owner's manual when he bought his 9mm handgun. If he had, he might have read the part that explains how when you rack the slide to eject a bullet, another bullet takes its place. And he might have prevented the accidental death of a friend.

Police say Colter, a 20-year-old Glendale resident, admitted he and a friend were joking around Wednesday night when he unintentionally shot and killed the friend, who is not named in court documents.

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Just before midnight, Colter and some friends played video games at an apartment in Maryvale. Colter had the 9mm in his back pocket, which he had bought three months earlier online. The friends were teasing each other and commenting about the gun.

Colter says he had fired the handgun once before, at a range. He says he'd shot 14 rounds using the gun and has never been trained to use a gun. (Also, he never should have been able to buy the weapon because he's under 21. Furthermore, it's illegal to carry a concealed weapon if you're under 21.)

Colter reached his hand into his back pocket and, keeping it hidden behind his back, racked the gun but neglected to take the clip out, according to records. When the live bullet ejected, another took its place.

Colter pointed the gun at his friend and pulled the trigger. Instead of hearing a metallic click, he heard a bang.

His friend fell to the floor, shot in the right shoulder.

Colter tried to render aid and called police. Emergency responders rushed the victim to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he eventually died.

Police spoke with Colter and other witnesses at the gathering, who all said it appeared to be an accident and that the two men were good friends.

Colter is being charged with reckless manslaughter.

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81 comments
ptcgaz
ptcgaz

the idea that people that don't understand how guns work and still being able to buy them is disturbing, let's just hand them out in cracker jack boxes! FFS


medranoalicia14
medranoalicia14

The thought of me not being able to hold my son ever again is killing me inside. Joe how could you have ever been so careless. You took my son's life. Im so heart broken and because of you i can never tell my son I love him, i can never hold him in my arms, or kiss him... But in the end I will tell you this.  I FORGIVE YOU. Not for you but for me. You have to live with this for the rest of your life not me, i have to live with not seeing my son get married, him not having any children, not having any future at all... I just justice for my son. And i hope they take this serious about the whole buying gun situation to minors under 21. I hope that internet site that sold him the gun gets shut down... There will be justice for my Son Rogelio M Medrano 05/31/96-06/13/2013

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

It is NOT a constitutional right to carry a gun anywhere.  This is a fallacy.  Read about your rights guaranteed by the Constitution - don't listen to the idiots on this site, or anywhere else - read them for yourself.

In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment "codified a pre-existing right" and that it "protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home" but also stated that "the right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose". They also clarified that many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court are consistent with the Second Amendment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

My son was killed by his best friend in a similar accident.  It will haunt this young man for the rest of his life!  We SERIOUSLY need gun control in this country folks - we're not tying to "grab guns" but make it impossible for this, and similar, people to get dangerous weapons.  People kill people - let's have required background checks for PEOPLE (weapons are already registered with serial numbers).

http://www.elliott.com/Pages/gun_distribution.htm#serialno

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

As I understand it, in Arizona it's legal to buy a handgun if you're 18.  It's simply not legal for a federally licensed dealer to sell one to you.  It is still illegal to carry it concealed if you're under 21.


AZ2bOK
AZ2bOK

House in my neightborhood, rural area north of Carefree Highway, having a yard sale this weekend; included sign "Guns for Sale"...I can guarentee these neighbors don't care who buys the guns

AZ2bOK
AZ2bOK

"...has never been trained to use a gun. (Also, he never should have been able to buy the weapon because he's under 21. Furthermore, it's illegal to carry a concealed weapon if you're under 21.) "....THERE YOU ARE...by all means, let's loosen the gun laws

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

the big flaw in his story is, if he shot it 14 times at the range..........didnt he notice that it reloaded every time he shot?  or another question for him would be, did the gun come loaded and with one in the pipe so he never had to rack that first round?

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

stupidity is changing  survival of the fittest. and not for the better either

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

This was no accident. Colter violated rule #1 of gun ownership... don't point a gun at anyone unless you intend to shoot him. He also violated rule #2... always assume that a gun is loaded. This case should, of course, be prosecuted as a felony.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Another lesson to take away is that the real world is not like TV.

He only shot his friend in the shoulder, so by the next scene he should just be wincing a little and not using that arm much unless he needs to climb a rope or punch a villain, right?

Except for the fact that the entire blood supply for your arm runs through your shoulder, and that the tip of your lung is actually above the collarbone.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

If you need a manual to tell you not to point an unloaded gun at your friend, let alone pull the trigger, you have no business carrying.  You're just too stupid and careless.

Failure to completely unload is actually the cause of many (probably most) "inadvertent discharges" by inexperienced people, including a federal agent in his office a few years ago.

Hint: take out the magazine and then rack the slide, and then look in the chamber.

Before you carry a gun, you need to understand how it works.  If you haven't fire a few hundred rounds with it, stripped it, cleaned it, put it back together, loaded and unloaded it several times, you shouldn't be carrying it.  If you don't have somebody who can teach you to do all of those things safely, you should take a class.  If  you're not willing to read a book on gun laws, you should take a class.

You should really take a class anyway, if only to be able to assure people that you're properly trained.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ptcgaz  People are able to buy chainsaws without understanding how they work, and even automobiles.

There's a concept that we used to call "personal responsibility".   It's YOUR responsibility to learn how to operate a tool safely, not the job of the government to protect you (or even others) from your own stupidity.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

@ExpertShot maybe this needs to be taken a step further? too many people are killed by guns in America.?

virgilsettles
virgilsettles

@ExpertShot every gun I have purchased has had a background check done on me, I don't know if you just do not actually know the law or chose to ignore it, if you are referring to person to person sales, I paid 40 bucks to "second admendment" a store right by my house to do a ownership transfer, which included a background check, and on the other part, this guy was not allowed to purchase a gun under current laws, someone must have bought it for him so how would any new law have changed this?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@AZ2bOK  Nobody's asking to loosen the laws, but do you understand that you've made the point that the recently proposed gun laws would have been a waste of time and money and would have inconvenienced only the law-abiding citizens, with no impact at all on anybody who simply chose to ignore them?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy  

To inexperienced shooters, particularly those as stupid as this guy, there's no obvious connection between what happens when they pull the trigger and what happens when they rack the slide.

In one case, there's a loud noise and an empty brass case goes flying and something happens that puts another round in the chamber, but it's much too fast to see (especially if your eyes are closed).

In the other case, they pull back on the slide and the round that was in the chamber is removed.

I once had somebody ask me how the gun knows whether to put a bullet into the chamber or to take one out when you rack the slide.


ptcgaz
ptcgaz

@valleynative so what you are saying is that to be able to own a gun one must first take classes to know how they work, and what happens when you pull the trigger? Cause in AZ apparently these things aren't true.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative ... so you'd support MANDATORY minimum gun safety training standards before any random fool is allowed to purchase or possess a firearm, eh?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ptcgaz gun deaths are declining every year.  When you remove suicides from the statistics, we have a lower gun death rate than most other nations.

AZ2bOK
AZ2bOK

it's a multi-faceted issue, requires multiple strategies...the proposed gun laws a start

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

@valleynative @danzigsdaddy and while we are on it, if you pull the trigger do you know what happens? Because either you are an inconsiderate assshole or you aren't funny. Either way.. 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative i dont know if you are trying to be funny or not, but being a avid shooter.............that post is friggin hysterical (especially enjoyed the if your eyes are closed comment)

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @eric.nelson745 Those are not government regulations. Just common-sense rules of gun safety. Oh, wait. Yes he did break the law. No person under the age of 18 can lawfully purchase a gun. There you go.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ptcgaz No, that's not what I'm saying at all.  I'm saying that before you buy a gun, you need to understand how it works.  Not because it's the law, but because it's just basic, fundamental, common sense.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative  Not in the way you're thinking.  The government can't require that you pass a test to exercise any of your rights.  That was tested back when some States had minimum requirements in order to vote.

The best we could do would be along the lines of requiring firearms safety training before high school graduation.  That would still miss a lot of idiots, so it might be better to tie the requirement to Driver Licenses.  That would sure be interesting national news.


ptcgaz
ptcgaz

@ExpertShot @valleynative @AZ2bOK thanks for mentioning that ExpertShot, that is what I think should be done here. I think a greater need then anyone can buy a gun in AZ  should be required to own a gun


ptcgaz
ptcgaz

@valleynative @AZ2bOK who gives a shit about "honest" people when honest people shoot and kill innocent people everyday in America.

virgilsettles
virgilsettles

@ExpertShot @valleynative @AZ2bOK under current laws this guy was not able to buy a gun, how would new laws prevent him from getting a gun when someone was willing to ignore the laws anyways? and with no record when he did turn 21 any and all laws would have allowed him to purchase,

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@AZ2bOK No.  A law that doesn't do what you want it to do, and inconveniences honest citizens is not "a start".  It's nothing more than politics.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ptcgaz  Or maybe you lack the capacity to understand what I was talking about.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @eric.nelson745 That was an assumption on my part.  You sure are a stickler for details. I wouldn't want you to be cross-examining me on the witness stand.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay You got me! But also the article states that one must be 21 to buy a gun in Arizona. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@eric.nelson745 = reading comprehension FAIL.

=> the subject is 20 years old


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ptcgaz Because there is no Constitutional right to drive a car.  If you have trouble understanding the most basic concepts of gun regulation, you shouldn't be calling other people names.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Sneekr I understand that it seems odd.  The important point is that we absolutely may not set training as a requirement to buy a gun.  It's simply unconstitutional to require any sort of test in order to exercise a constitutional right.

But it would still be a good idea for everybody who owns a gun to have had training.   Since we can't constitutionally make it a direct requirement for the purchase or ownership of a gun, the best we could do would be to tie it to something else that most people want, but which is NOT constitutionally protected.  As I said, requiring gun safety training before receiving a Driver License would probably be better.

If most people, even those who never expect to touch a gun, understood them better, particularly safe handling, we would all be safer.

I'd particularly like it if all reporters who write about guns took a class where they learned the basics,  like the difference between automatic and sem-automatic, and that being shot with a .22 is different from being shot with a .45

 

Sneekr
Sneekr

@valleynative Okay, so I'm just trying to get a feel of your viewpoint cuz I'm a little confused. You think requiring all gun purchasers to take a class is not a good idea, but requiring all high school students to take one is? To me that seems conflicting. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Sneekr Not really.  I'm saying that if you're going to carry a gun, you should take a class.   I'm also saying that it would be good if as many people as possible were trained in firearm safety.   A requirement to have training before buying a gun would not be a good idea, because it would be unconstitutional.

Sneekr
Sneekr

@valleynative So you think requiring firearms safety courses before buying guns is a good idea, but unconstitutional?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Sneekr There is no Constitutional right to a high school diploma.

Sneekr
Sneekr

@valleynative How is NOT okay to require gun purchasers to take a firearms safety course before/after buying a gun but OKAY to require EVERY high school student to take a safety class before graduation? The latter scenario seems way more intrusive than the former. Mandatory firearms classes for high school students is a bad idea. High school students should be able to graduate and obtain their diploma regardless of whether or not they know how to operate a firearm.

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