BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – A vendor accidentally shot a woman in the leg while demonstrating a gun and holster at a central Pennsylvania gun show, police said.
The Columbia County district attorney's office will determine whether the vendor, Geoffrey Hawk, will face criminal charges stemming from the shooting Saturday at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Officer Brad Sharrow said.
Hawk, 44, of Warminster, didn't immediately return calls Sunday to his cellphone and business, In Case of Emergency Enterprises. He was manning a booth for his business at the Eagle Arms Gun show at the time of the shooting.
Hawk told police he thought the gun was unloaded when he demonstrated a concealed-carry wallet holster to the woman, Krista Gearhart, 25, of Orangeville. Gearhart was treated and released for a thigh wound at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Hawk told police he had done the same demonstration about 20 times without incident before the shooting, "racking" the gun's slide to clear it of bullets each time, Sharrow said. Somehow, the gun was loaded when Gearhart was shot.
Police said Hawk told them he had left the gun on display when he completed background checks on some customers and believes it's possible someone loaded the gun when he was busy.
Joel Koehler, the gun show organizer, said Hawk was asked to close his booth and leave the show, which continued Sunday. The show has an entrance sign that says "No Loaded Weapons" and Koehler said his staff checks all guns to ensure they are unloaded before they are brought in for display.
Koehler said Saturday's shooting was the first at any show he has held at the fairgrounds or anywhere else.