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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.”

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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