Imagine enjoying a day on the beach, soaking in the sunlight, when all of a sudden, you get hit by a stray bullet. That’s definitely one way to put a damper on your vacation. And that’s precisely what happened on July 15.
A man was carrying a handgun in a backpack while he was on the beach in Panama City. He returned to his beachside condo, and upon retrieving his gun from the backpack, he noticed a lot of sand on it. So he decided to go to his balcony to clean the gun. That’s when he had a negligent discharge while the gun was pointed toward the beach.
Beachgoers heard the shot and scattered except for a woman who was hit in the knee. Police found the woman lying on the beach towel and transported her to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Witnesses told police that the gunshot came from the condominiums.
It is unclear how the police found the man, but much more of the story came out afterward. Apparently, the man had been drinking crown royal when he decided to clean his gun. And that’s a giant no-no. We should all know that you shouldn’t be handling firearms under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which brings me to another point. The police also found marijuana in his possession, so not only was he drinking, but he was also under the influence of marijuana.
According to the police, after the man had his negligent discharge, he put the gun back into the backpack. He and others in the room ran off, one of them taking the bag and tossing the gun into a nearby wooded area. The man told the police the location of the gun, which they recovered. He was then charged with possession of marijuana, multiple weapon offenses, attempting to destroy or conceal evidence, and attempted manslaughter.
So many things wrong here. I already touched on handling firearms while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. I think we all know trying to destroy evidence is not ok. But one point I’d like to make is how he was carrying his gun, whether it was legal or not. If you are temporarily carrying a gun in a backpack on the beach, at least toss it into a zip-lock back which will keep the sand out of it. Or just don’t bring it with you.