Goichi Matsumoto appeared stunned when told a 14-year-old died after a shooting accident around 3 p.m. Sunday at the High Noon Guns shooting range in Sarasota.
Matsumoto is the owner of Goichi’s Sushi Cafe, a few doors down from High Noon Guns in the Ridge Center strip mall.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the boy died of his wounds and termed it an accidental shooting.
“They are very professional owners,” Matsumoto said of John Buchan and his staff at High Noon Guns, 4583 Bee Ridge Road. “That’s why I am quite surprised something like this happened.”
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The gun range’s website states that no one is allowed to fire a gun at the range without a parent being present if the shooter is younger than 18, which would indicate that one of the victim’s parents were present when the accident occurred, although the sheriff’s office has not provided confirmation.
The boy was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and authorities initially reported he sustained serious injuries but was still alive.
As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s office had not released the boy’s name or provided specific details of how he was shot.
A man who had the key to the door of High Noon Guns and came in around 7 p.m. told reporters, “All thoughts go to the family.”
But he would not give his name or give a reply when asked how the accident happened at the gun range, which opened in 2013.
On its website, High Noon Guns describes its range as, “A safer, greener, quieter, cooler gun range.”
Matsumoto said he practiced shooting a gun there himself two years ago and was impressed with the safety and the quality of the range.
The website states that shooters who are younger than age 14 can shoot for free any day as long as they are with a parent.