A military recruiter in Georgia was wounded Friday morning with a non-life-threatening injury after he apparently accidentally shot himself at a military recruitment center. The shooting came just about 24 hours after a gunman targeted a U.S. Navy recruitment center in Tennessee, killing four U.S. Marines.
The unidentified victim of the self-inflicted injury was at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in the city of Gainesville when the shooting occurred around 11 a.m., according to news outlet WSB-TV, though details on how the reported accident unfolded were not immediately clear. The victim, who shot himself in a leg, was a Navy recruiter, WSB-TV reported.
Guns are prohibited in so-called military gun-free zones, including the Gainesville location, raising the question of why Friday’s shooting victim was armed on-site in the first place.
Hours before the shooting Friday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared on MSNBC and promised that he would repeal a policy that he said former President Bill Clinton signed into law banning military personnel from carrying personal firearms at military installations. The Armed Forces Recruiting Center falls under that designation. [However, Media Matters reported the policy "was enacted in 1992 during the administration of George H.W. Bush and does allow guns to be carried on base under some circumstances."]
"We have to start doing something with these gun-free zones," Trump said during the “Morning Joe” show. “They were sitting there and they were just targets for this madman."
The Gainesville Police Department issued a statement to calm concerns over the similarities shared between Thursday’s alleged intentional shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Friday’s shooting.
“GPD and emergency personnel are on scene of an accidental shooting at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Gainesville,” the Gainesville Police Department posted to its Facebook page late Friday morning. “Given recent incidents in Chatanooga [sic] we know the public may be concerned about the police presence, there is no need for public alarm, this was an accidental shooting.”
Friday’s shooting victim was transported to a nearby hospital, but details of his condition were not immediately available. The shooting remained under investigation, the Gainesville Police Department added.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the location of the shooting. It was in Georgia, not Florida. The story has since been updated to reflect the correction.