Crime

Father ID’d as shooter of teenage son at Sarasota gun range

The 14-year-old boy who was accidentally shot at High Noon Guns in Sarasota on Sunday afternoon has been identified, and authorities said his father was the shooter.

Stephen J. Brumby, of Sarasota, was identified as the 14-year-old boy who was accidentally shot at about 3:15 p.m. He died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

He was “the most gregarious, outgoing person, who never met a stranger,” his 24-year-old brother, David Brumby, who witnessed the shooting, said Monday. “He was always into bow and arrows or throwing knives or he’d climb 50 feet up into a tree. He was just the quintessential boy, in the most old fashioned, beautiful sense of that word.”

Based on witness statements and video from the shooting range, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said the boy's father was trying to remove a spent shell casing from his shirt when the gun in his hand went off:

“William Brumby (the 64-year-old father) was positioned in the last shooting lane where there was a solid wall on his right-hand side. After firing a round, the spent shell casing struck the wall causing it to deflect and fall into the back of Mr. Brumby’s shirt. Brumby then used his right hand, which was holding the handgun, in an attempt to remove the casing. While doing so, he inadvertently pointed the firearm directly behind him and accidentally fired. The round struck his 14-year-old son, Stephen,” deputies stated in a press release.

According to David Brumby, the gun went off while pointed straight up, and the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling and struck Stephen.

“You couldn’t have done it again if you tried a thousand times,” David Brumby said.

High Noon gun range co-owner John Buchan said it was an accident and breakdown in safety.

“It was a tragic accident. It was a breakdown in gun safety fundamentals. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Buchan said.

In addition to David Brumby, a 12-year-old sister of Stephen's was at the gun range at the time of the shooting, deputies said. They were not injured.

Stephen “lived more in 14 years than many people do in their entire lives,” David Brumby said.

The investigation is ongoing, but there are no pending charges against William Brumby.

“The gun didn’t kill my son, I did," said William Brumby, who goes by Clayton. "It’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life.”

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