Pickerington Times-Sun

No felony charges against Dunlap in gun-class shooting

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A special prosecutor recommended yesterday that no felony charges be filed against a firearms instructor who accidentally shot a student who was taking his concealed-carry class last year.

Jeff Hunter, a former assistant prosecutor in Greene County who was appointed special prosecutor to look into the shooting, said he concluded the shooting was, indeed, accidental.

He also concluded that Terry J. Dunlap Sr. was not acting recklessly at the time of the shooting. That is, he was not playing with the gun or "goofing around," Hunter said.

Dunlap, 74, is a Violet Township trustee who was re-elected last year.

Dunlap said he was satisfied with the special prosecutor's recommendation. "It was an accident, and I am glad that he has ruled that way," he said.

Hunter said he will deliver his report to Fairfield County Prosecutor Gregg Marx and Lancaster City Prosecutor Randall Ullom. The city prosecutor handles misdemeanor cases.

Hunter said the circumstances of the shooting do not make a strong case for misdemeanor charges, but that would be up to Ullom to decide.

Hunter said he interviewed about a dozen witnesses in the class, including the man who was shot.

Dunlap runs a shooting range and training center at 6995 Coonpath Road and was demonstrating how to handle a handgun near the end of a 12-hour concealed-carry class Aug. 10 when he fired a .38-caliber bullet that ricocheted off a desk and into student Michael Piemonte's right arm.

Dunlap is certified by the state to teach classes for Ohioans who are getting their concealed-carry permits.

Piemonte, 27, of Pataskala said last night that he believes Dunlap acted recklessly and should at least be charged with a misdemeanor.

"He still has not apologized to me," Piemonte said. "He hasn't shown any remorse."

Dunlap said he didn't wish to respond to Piemonte's remarks.

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