In a tragic turn of event, an owner of a popular gun store was shot dead by a stray bullet while preaching gun safety.
James Baker, a gun store owner at Amelia, Ohio, was fatally shot in the neck just before 1 p.m. at his KayJay Gun Shop, police reported. He was struck by a bullet that was accidentally discharged by a student while practicing malfunction drills — a program designed to teach members about gun safety.
Ten students were taking the class at the time the incident occurred. The bullet passed through a wall and struck Baker, who was standing in the adjacent room. The gun shop owner was pronounced dead on the scene and the student who fired the weapon was not immediately identified.
Soon after the tragic incident, the gun shop witnessed over a dozen people gathered at the gravel lot, grieving and comforting each other.
“I can’t say enough about him — how much he was loved by the whole community — and we lost someone really special. He loved and wanted to protect. That’s why he did what he did,” Anita Fritz, a neighbor of Baker’s, told the press. “He was a friend to everybody. If it snowed, he'd get everybody's driveway.”
Fritz also said Baker was formerly a member of the law enforcement agency and was acquainted with the local police.
“Cops were always coming in and out, and he told me, ‘Don’t worry, I’m not in trouble,’” she said. “They came and looked at his guns, get their guns fixed and cleaned and get their ammo.”
KayJay Gun Shop could not be reached for a statement. Its website announced concealed carry permit classes along with defensive pistol classes during this summer once a month.