INDIANAPOLIS — A 19-year-old is dead following an apparent accidental shooting on Indy’s northeast side.
On Monday night, at the Lake Castleton apartments, police found 19-year-old Austin Bunn shot and critically wounded. The victim died the next day in the hospital.
Police believe Bunn was shot on accident by another person. That makes the case a homicide, although no criminal charges have been filed.
Police are still investigating exactly what led to the deadly shooting. At the same time, the tragedy can serve as an important safety lesson for gun owners everywhere.
“Firearms accidents and violence a lot of times are completely preventable if we have the right training and right storage,” said Kathleen Ratcliff.
Ratcliff of Upstream Prevention believes the safe storage and handling of guns can save lives. That’s why next month her group is helping to host a firearms safety training session.
“Our hope is that anyone that has access to a gun or is around a gun knows how to handle it safely,” said Ratcliff.
IMPD said accidental shootings have been a deadly trend so far this year.
In fact, the first homicide of the year claimed the life of a teenager who was shot on accident by a family member inside their home on Arlington Court.
In April, a 6-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself at the Amber Woods Apartments on John Jay Drive. Those are just two examples.
“We’ve seen too many kids hurt because weapons have been left in places they can get to,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor in January.
Earlier this year, IMPD’s chief issued a community-wide alert urging people to be responsible gun owners and insisting that accidental shootings are largely avoidable.
“We’ve had too many people who have injured themselves and others by not knowing how to accurately handle their weapon,” said Taylor.
As for the deadly shooting at Lake Castleton, ultimately it will be up to the prosecutor’s office to determine if any criminal charges will be filed against the person who pulled the trigger.
Anyone with information about the Lake Castleton incident should contact Detective Anthony Johnson at the IMPD Homicide Office at (317) 327-3475 or e-mail him at Anthony.Johnson@indy.gov
The training session next month is free to the public, but there are limited spots available.
The event involves a partnership with the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Johnson County and Johnson County Sheriff Deputy and expert firearm instructor, DJ Neutzmann. It’ll be held Friday, June 2, from 1-4 p.m.
The training is capped at 20 participating individuals, but additional individuals are welcome to attend with active participants to watch and learn without firearm shooting or handling. There is a separate ticket option at check out during registration. Registration is required.