For Release: Friday, July 23, 2010
Washington, DC–The conviction of a Tennessee concealed handgun permit holder who murdered another man during an argument over how close their SUVs were parked to one another, a “love triangle of sorts” that ended in murder-suicide, and a 15-year-old killed with an “unloaded” handgun by his friend are among the updates and additions to Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of killings by concealed handgun permit holders.
Since May 2007, concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 182 individuals–including nine law enforcement officers–in 26 states. Of the 109 incidents that resulted in the deaths, in more than half (58 incidents) the concealed handgun permit holder has already been convicted or committed suicide after the shooting. Of the 48 cases still pending, the vast majority (43) are charged with criminal homicide, two were unintentional shootings, and three are still under investigation. In the three remaining cases, two alleged shooters were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and the final case involved a concealed handgun permit holder who was also shot and killed during the incident. Of the 109 incidents, 16 were mass shootings where concealed handgun permit holders claimed the lives of 65 victims.
A summary of each of the 109 incidents is available at http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm, clicking on each category leads to a state-by-state breakout for the incidents with current known status. To review all killings by concealed handgun permit holders, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders.” While the incident summaries of the few concealed handgun permit holders eventually found not guilty of their crimes are listed on the site, those numbers are not included in the VPC’s totals.
Updates and additions for July include:
- In July 2010, Tennessee concealed handgun permit holder Harry Raymond Coleman was convicted of second degree murder and other charges in the killing of Robert “Dutch” Schwerin, 52. During a parking lot argument over how close Schwerin’s GMC Yukon Denali SUV was parked to Coleman’s wife’s Hummer, Coleman, then 60 years old, retrieved his 45 caliber pistol from the Hummer and shot Schwerin in the chest. During the trial, prosecutors told jurors that Coleman and his wife were not fearful that night, only angry, adding, “Poor Harry Coleman. He had to kill a man. He wants to be the first man in history to stick a gun in the mouth of an unarmed man, to stick it in the chest of an unarmed man and then to shoot him to death in front of his children and then call himself a victim.” Coleman faces up to 25 years in prison without parole.
- In January 2008, Alabama concealed handgun permit holder Joshua Noel Jones, 22, shot and killed 15-year-old Daniel Wayne “Danny” McKinnon. While sitting in a pick-up truck with friends, Jones “dry-fired” (pulling a gun’s trigger presumably without a bullet in the chamber) his 40 caliber handgun. The loaded gun went off, killing McKinnon. Jones was charged with manslaughter, convicted, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
- In May 2007, Florida concealed handgun permit holder Antonio Olo Duran, 40, shot and killed Richard Scoggins, 39, and then took his own life. Scoggins was the current boyfriend of Duran’s ex-girlfriend, Maria Bautista, 44. According to press reports the three were “in a love triangle of sorts.” During an argument about “past relationships,” Duran fatally shot Scoggins in the head. As Bautista attempted to help Scoggins, Duran struggled with her. He then put the handgun in his mouth. As Bautista attempted to pull it out he pulled the trigger, killing himself.
Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The evidence is becoming overwhelming that too many people who get concealed handgun permits are homicidal, suicidal, or both. The simple fact is the laws that allow the carrying of guns in public need to be repealed–unfortunately, it is impossible to do this before more people die.”
Because most state systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders, the VPC reviews and tallies concealed handgun permit holder killings primarily as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.