On Sunday, January 28, in Casper, Wyoming, a man was at home using the bathroom, when a bullet, shot from an apartment two buildings away, hit him in the chest. He was not hurt.
The route the bullet took was like something out of a Rube Goldberg cartoon. It all started with a man playing video games. He was not identified in news stories, so I will call him “Careless Man.” While Careless Man was playing his video games, he was also, stupidly, playing around with his new gun. The gun went off accidentally.
The bullet flew through the wall of Careless Man’s apartment. It sailed across a courtyard, passed a building, and then it went through the wall of Bathroom Man’s apartment, into Bathroom Man’s shower stall. It ricocheted off the wall, and “softly thunked” Bathroom Man on the chest. Then it fell to the floor.
Now the scene changed from a Rube Goldberg drawing to a Three Stooges film. Bathroom Man thought he was being attacked. He grabbed his own gun, and ran outside. Perhaps he thought that the movie his life most resembled was not a slapstick comedy, but a Western.
But it was not High Noon outside his apartment. Instead of a showdown, what he found was Careless Man, nursing a bleeding hand. Careless Man apologized to Bathroom Man. Then Careless Man went to a nearby medical center to get his hand fixed up.
Bathroom Man called the police. Perhaps it was a boring night for the emergency personnel of Casper, or perhaps this is just the way that life goes when it imitates a slapstick movie — whatever the reason, several police cars, an ambulance, and a firetruck all showed up at Bathroom Man’s door. Bathroom Man only had a small bruise though. It was as if he had been “poked with a thumb,” his landlord said. He did not need any medical treatment.
All’s well that ends well. Bathroom Man was fine. I guess you could say that he literally dodged a bullet. Careless Man was charged with discharging a firearm within Casper city limits, a misdemeanor. And Casper Police Sargeant Mark Trimble took the opportunity to give some advice to those who might be a wee bit deficient in the common sense department. When you get a new firearm, familiarize yourself before putting ammo in it,” he said. “Don’t do with in your living room in front of the TV.”
Police charge shooter with misdemeanor, by Tom Morton, Casper Star-Tribune, Jan. 29, 2007, casperstartribune.net
Gun discharges, striking man in bathroom, Associated Press, Jan. 29, 2007