Woman Shot During Gun Show Demo
Pennsylvania vendor was demonstrating a holster at the time
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2014 8:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – A vendor demonstrating a concealed carry holster at a Pennsylvania gun show used a real gun instead of a plastic model on Saturday—and things went about as wrong as they possibly could. The semi-automatic .380 didn't have a magazine attached, but there was a round in the chamber, and the gun went off, hitting Eagle Arms Gun Show attendee Krista Gearhart in the thigh. She screamed, "everybody paused for a second, and their initial reaction was making sure there wasn’t more" gunshots, a witness tells WNEP, "and then they rushed to her aid." The 25-year-old was treated and released, and she calls the whole thing just a "horrible accident."

In fact, she tells the Press Enterprise in an interview picked up by the AP that she feels bad for the vendor, Geoffrey Hawk, who was asked to leave the show and questioned by police. Police say the DA may file charges—but Hawk was not held in custody, as the shooting was deemed to be an accident. Hawk told police he had done that very demo a good 20 times before the shooting occurred, "racking" the gun's slide to clear it of bullets each time. He suggested someone may have loaded the gun while he was busy doing background checks on would-be customers. Gearhart calls it "very ironic" to get shot at a gun show, but says she and her husband will return to the Bloomsburg, Pa., show next year. Also somewhat ironic is the name of Hawk's business: In Case of Emergency Enterprises.