Two families in Tennessee are grieving after what police are calling an accidental shooting on Thursday, June 1st that took the life of an 18 year old Shelby County woman.  Lucinda Luna was hit in the stomach after the gun given to her boyfriend, 18 year old Brennan Fields, by her father as a graduation gift discharged. Witnesses say Fields was in the process of putting the gun away after showing it to his friends when it fired, hitting Lucinda, who was seated on a couch next to him. Luna was rushed to the hospital, but died in surgery.

Friends of the victim are in shock by the events that took her life. Lucinda is described as “really funny” and “amazingly smart”. Karalyn Stubblefield, a friend of Lucinda’s, expressed disbelief over the shocking loss of life, saying, “I didn’t think it was real. I thought it was a joke or someone was messing with me. I didn’t believe it at all.”

The CDC recently released it’s findings on gun related deaths in the US, but a review by USA TODAY and The Associated Press found that the number of gun deaths attributed to accidental or negligent use of firearms was significantly under reported. According to USA TODAY, a review of the CDC report found that at least 141 deaths of minors were caused by “unintentional or accidental shootings in 2015 — 83% higher than what the Centers for Disease Control reported”. Gun Violence Archive tracks accidental shootings as they happen, and puts the number of incidents at over 800 for 2017, so far.

Deputies in Shelby County are now stressing the importance of gun safety in the aftermath of Thursday’s tragic shooting; they remind gun owners to always check the chamber of the weapon to make sure it’s empty, and to insure that anyone who is around firearms undergo proper training. Says Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Earle Farrell, “One small mistake, one minute when you’re not thinking about gun safety, can cost somebody their life.”

The shooting has been declared accidental, and as such, Fields is not expected to face charges in the death of Luna.

(Image: Atlas Obscura)