A wedding ceremony in Nebraska took an unexpected and dangerous turn when a 62-year-old man, officiating the event, fired a blank round to gather the attention of the guests, inadvertently injuring his 12-year-old grandson over the weekend.
Michael Gardner, the officiant, attempted to gather the wedding attendees by firing a blank round from a Pietta Model 1860 snub nose revolver into the air outside the Hillside Events venue near Denton on Saturday. Unfortunately, his plan backfired when the revolver accidentally discharged and struck his grandson in the left shoulder, causing an injury, according to Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ben Houchin in a news conference on Monday.
Gardner had created the blank round using 45 Colt ammunition by adding black powder and glue to a casing, and it was believed that the glue caused the injury to the child. Deputies arrived at the scene shortly before 6 p.m. local time, and the injured child, hailing from Odessa, Texas, was initially treated at a local hospital before being transported to Omaha for further medical care. Fortunately, the injury was deemed non-life-threatening.
It remains unclear whether the wedding festivities continued following the shooting incident. Gardner, also from Odessa, voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Monday, where he faced charges of child abuse for negligently discharging a firearm and causing injury.
While it was not believed that Gardner had intended to harm his grandchild, authorities emphasized the potential dangers associated with handling firearms, even when loaded with blanks. They asserted that irresponsible firearm use could lead to unfortunate accidents. Importantly, they did not suspect the involvement of alcohol in the incident, attributing the charges to the use of the firearm and the severity of the injury.