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HARRIS COUNTY, TX — A gun range employee was cleaning a rifle when he accidentally shot and killed a customer walking into the range.

An unnamed employee at the Hot Wells Shooting Range was cleaning a rifle in the range building when the weapon accidentally fired.

The bullet went through a wall and window before striking 36-year-old Joshua Luke Cummings in the head as he was in the range’s parking lot. Cummings, a married father of three, had just gotten out of his vehicle.

Cummings was rushed to a hospital in downtown Houston by a helicopter, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police believe the shooting was an accident, but homicide detectives are trying to determine whether the gun accidentally fired due to human error or a mechanical issue.

“Homicide will investigate all of the employees, witnesses and take control of the weapon. That weapon will be investigated also to find out if there’s anything wrong with it; if there was a malfunction, or if it was human error,” Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland said.

Hot Wells Shooting Range released a brief statement that read:

“We simply do not have the words to express the sorrow in our hearts. For 44 years we have operated this facility accident free, yet today we are shaken by tragedy. There is an ongoing investigation into the circumstances that surround this accident, and until that investigation is complete we will have no comment on the accident details. We understand that this accident has, and will continue to affect the lives of many. We ask that our community joins us in prayer for the healing of all parties involved.”

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Personally, I don’t think “mechanical issues” are to blame in cases like this. While I agree it was more than likely an accidental shooting, I also think it was 100 percent preventable if the most basic rules of firearm handling were being observed.

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    well, shit. hope that poor guy never knew what hit him.

  • Valerie

    My husband has always said that with guns there are no accidents, only negligence.

  • ‘Merica as fuck.

  • LoKi4778

    I taught my son the first rule of handling a firearm is EVERY WEAPON IS A LOADED WEAPON! I don’t care if you just watched someone unload it. As long as you treat every firearm as if it were loaded, the rest of the rules are easy… finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire, and never point a weapon at anything/anyone you are not willing to destroy…

  • LoKi4778


  • Boom

  • I’ve been there… I’m betting Remington.

  • Who the fuck cleans a loaded gun? Lock this idiot up. “Oops” is not an excuse to get away with homicide.

  • DaveL

    An unnamed employee at the Hot Wells Shooting Range was cleaning a rifle in the range building when the weapon accidentally fired.

    Bull. “Cleaning”, my eye. Cleaning a rifle with a round in the chamber is like showering with your clothes on. We’ll probably never know what he was really doing with it.

  • Elizabeth McCarthy

    Me too.

  • scotsims

    Just as car “accidents”aren’t.

  • scotsims

    That employee was very, very lucky, he might have shot himself.

  • I hope there’s a video…

  • Of someone being that stupid.

  • dumwise

    That’s what I’m talking about

  • truthguy

    jees 36, i’m a year older than this guy and he looked 10 years older than me.

  • truthguy

    first thing you always do is insure the weapon is on safe and clear the breach, so many gun nuts don’t know shit about gun safty and others suffer the consequences for their stupidity

  • itsknotme

    Three months ago, my father-in-law’s shotgun shot a hole through my side door and back into the side of my house. A few inches lower, the shot would have gone into my living where my son was playing. My father-in-law swears that the dogs running through into to his room knock his gun over and flipped off the safety. You don’t think when I let my dog out, she somehow ran off to this gun range do you? I must admit, she ain’t the brightest dog being a full bread Poops-A-Lot.

  • This is from one of my ex-workers. Anyway, this is from him, about that gun range. man-dies-in-accidental-shooting

    Hope this is the end of this place.

    They have some irritating “rules”…one of them is no double taps…so they force you to practice with your weapon the way you are not going to use it. The “Safety Officers” were both 17, and as arrogant as could be. A guy 4 stalls down from me unpacked his Glock, I had stepped back to swap weapons, when the guy shot 2 double taps. BOTH teenagers screamed at him “HEY HEY NO NO STOOOOP” and one of them GRABBED HIS ARM HOLDING HIS WEAPON. It was the most astounding thing I ever witnessed. Everybody just stood there dumbfounded, then one of the kids continued to berate the customer. I lost my freaking mind. At NO point did either of them conclude that they had done anything wrong. I demanded they they go find an adult, and one of them returned with a 22 year old, who also couldn’t understand what the issue was.

    I hate being right, but that place was a when, not an if. I called it 4 years ago.

  • Josh

    Guns don’t kill people, idiots do.

  • David Richter

    Not sure he feels all that lucky. Best case, he doesn’t face criminal charges but does face a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s family, a suit he doesn’t have a chance of winning. Worst case, he goes down for negligent homicide and does 15-20 years in a prison.

    Of course, you’re probably being sarcastic, but this site has dulled my sarcasm detection to Sheldon Cooper levels….

  • Sejanus

    Someone is getting fired.
    Someone already was.

  • that is not an “accident” its negligence and stupidity

  • I will add to this gentleman’s post. Treat all guns as if they are always loaded

  • McDanel_1771

    Of course it was human error, you don’t clean a loaded gun.

  • DaveL

    Every time I read one of these stories, I can’t help but imagine somebody helplessly jabbing a cleaning rod at a closed breach, whining “IT’S NOT WORKING!!!”.

  • Inferus

    ‘0 days without incident’ seems appropriate.

  • scotsims

    It was snark, but your comment is great! Thanks. (no snark intended)

  • letinstar

    Someone’s not gonna be employee of the month…

  • Heather_Simpson

    Well, shit…..the guy who shot him needs the death penalty.

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    Very wry.

  • patrickdh10

    Regardless of what they say,if a gun range employee does not know nor exercises gun safety then close the damn place down,though the forthcoming lawsuit will probably take care of this. If proper gun handling is not observed and the management hires untrained personnel then the place is a danger to the community as illustrated by the tragedy that has now left a family bereaved and 3 children without their father.

  • The All Seeing Eye

    Hey….Shot, er Shit happens

  • Tenbux

    How does this even happen?! I’ve got two rifles and a pistol, and none of them are ever in a state where they could fire during the entire cleaning process. On two of them, the very first step is removing the mechanisms responsible for striking the bullets!