Pickerington Times-Sun

Instructor Dunlap shoots student during gun-safety class


Firearms instructor Terry Dunlap Sr. accidentally shot a student while teaching a gun-safety class Saturday evening, Aug. 10, in Fairfield County to people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons.

Dunlap, who runs a shooting range and training center at 6995 Coonpath Road, was demonstrating how to handle a handgun when he fired a .38-caliber bullet that ricocheted off a desk and into student Michael Piemonte's right arm.

Dunlap, 73, is a long-time Violet Township trustee who is running for re-election in November.

Monday, Aug. 12, Piemonte said he feels lucky, and it could have been worse.

He and his wife, Allison, both 26, are residents of Pataskala in Licking County and attended the daylong concealed-carry class together.

"My wife was sitting just inches away from me," Piemonte said. "It could have easily hit her."

Dunlap apparently didn't know the gun was loaded, Piemonte said. "That's my guess," he said.

The bullet was slowed down by hitting the desk first. Piemonte said it then ricocheted into his right arm between his elbow and armpit.

Among the 29 students in the class were several nurses who helped stabilize Piemonte after the shooting about 7:30 p.m.

Piemonte said a medic unit took him to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in Columbus, and he was released that night.

"I am thankful that it only ended up being in my arm, and didn't hit my wife or individuals sitting at the desk behind me."

Piemonte is studying for his teaching degree at Ohio State University's Newark campus and said he plans to teach elementary school.

He said he and his wife, who already has her teaching degree, decided to apply for concealed-carry permits for their own general safety and not specifically for classroom safety.

No charges have been filed. An incident report filed by a Fairfield County Sheriff's Office deputy termed it an accidental shooting.

Dunlap did not return a telephone message seeking comment.