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Posted: 9/17/2005 3:28:00 PM EDT
The guy in this story who killed himself in a Kmart was a contestant trying to win a Nissan truck by kepping his hands on the truck the longest. I guess something happened and he freaked out. He went across the street and threw a trash can through a Kmart window, and then proceeded to the Sporting Goods Department where he broke a glass gun case and removed a shotgun that had a trigger lock on it. He BROKE the lock, loaded the gun, and killed himself.

So much for trigger locks, huh?

Be Safe.

Joe

Man Kills Self in Kmart

Slideshow

Police: Gun lock broken

By PATRINA A. BOSTIC

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Police say after Hands on a Hardbody contestant Richard "Ricky" Vega, 24, broke into Kmart, then into the store's firearm glass case, he removed the trigger lock off the 12-gauge shotgun that he used to kill himself.

Longview Police Sgt. Carlos Samples said information wasn't immediately available on how Vega removed the lock.

"It actually had a trigger lock on it, and he was able to remove that trigger lock," he said.

Tom Crowley, public information officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Dallas, said the locks are not designed to be taken off easily.

"That's the whole purpose of having it locked," Crowley said.

Vernon Orms, a sales clerk in the Longview Academy Sporting Goods hunting department, said trigger locks are difficult to remove and a special key or tool is required to open them.

"He probably had to knock that thing off with something," Orms said. "He could take a hammer and bust one off. Even the metal ones can be knocked off, if you have something hard enough to hit it with."

Academy has trigger locks on all firearms and takes extra precaution by also locking shotguns and rifles in wooden gun racks. The store also secures its pistols inside a safe at night.

The rifles and shotguns in Kmart are locked behind glass and have trigger locks on them, said Chris Brathwaite, spokesman for Kmart's Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based parent company Sears Holdings Corp.

Wal-Mart Supercenter on Loop 281 and Fourth Street locks its shotguns and rifles inside of a glass case, where they are secured also by another method. And all the firearms have trigger locks on them.

Federal firearms licensees are required by law to report theft or loss of a firearm to the ATF and local law enforcement within 48 hours.

Brathwaite said Friday the company reported the shotgun theft to ATF.

Crowley said retailers aren't required to put trigger locks on firearms. The agency does, however, recommend trigger locks or plastic ties to ensure the firearms can't be loaded or fired while customers are examining the guns.

Two contestants said Vega left the internationally popular contest Thursday around 6 a.m. and shortly before a scheduled 15-minute break for competitors. He walked across the street to Kmart, where a witness saw him send a trash can through the store's front door.

Hardbody participants Dru Laborde, KYKX radio program director and media participant, and contestant Tammy Denfeld said Vega left the event around 6 a.m. Contestant Jeremy Newlin said he believed it was more like 20 minutes before the hour.

Police said a woman inside Kmart called 911 at 5:59 a.m. and that officers arrived at the scene within a minute.

Information wasn't immediately available Friday on the officers locations when they headed to the scene.

Gregg County Justice of the Peace Arthur Fort said Vega's body was lying between the front door and the jewelry counter. The sporting goods department, where firearms are kept, is located diagonally behind the jewelry section.

Samples said detectives measured how many feet Vega was from the door when he fell, and the information will be available next week. He told the Longview News-Journal Thursday that Vega took four shells from a box, loaded the gun with one and dropped another as he made his way toward the store's front doors. Two shells laid beside Vega after he took his life.

Fort emphasized he's not ordering an autopsy "because we know the cause of death. An autopsy is done to determine the cause of death," he said. The cause of death is suicide. He shot himself in front of witnesses. He had a single shot to the head by the shotgun."



Link Posted: 9/17/2005 3:47:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2005 3:48:41 PM EDT by mevertsen]
WOW!!! I guess that goes to show you one thing.

Locks only keep the honest people out. If someone wants into something, they will get in!!

Just like locks on our cars, houses and tool boxes.

Now, the (gun hating) libs will blame the whole thing on the GUN. They won't even take into account that someone had to think about doing such a thing, but some how make it sound like the gun did it all on its own!!
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