Gun-safety instructor who shot student also shot girl in 1977

An Ohio firearms instructor who accidentally shot one of his students this month also shot a 14-year-old girl in 1977.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Terry Dunlap was a Pickerington Police Department auxiliary officer in 1977 when he accidentally shot a then-14-year-old Cathy Hessler in her right leg during a Halloween hayride.

“Oh no, he’s done it again,” Hessler, now Cathy Schmelzer, 50, told the paper after she heard of the latest shooting.  “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’” she said, according to the Dispatch.


Dunlap, 73, reportedly shot student Michael Piemonte, who was hit by a bullet in his right arm, when Dunlap accidentally fired a .38-caliber handgun during a gun-safety class on Aug. 10. The bullet hit a desk, then ricocheted, hitting Piemonte.

Piemonte, 26, was reportedly treated at a hospital, and released later that night. Doctors have not yet removed the bullet or decided whether they will, Piemonte said, according to the Dispatch.

In the 1977 incident, according to a Dispatch account at the time, Dunlap said he fired his .38-caliber handgun into the air to create, in his words, “a scary effect,” while taking his daughter and her friends for a “haunted hayride.” He said he thought the gun was loaded with blanks.

The hayride shooting was deemed accidental, so no charges were ever filed.

Dunlap refused to answer questions from the Columbus Dispatch.

Click for the story from the Columbus Dispatch.