Indiana Man Shoots Daughter in the Head During Gun Safety Lesson

My first experience with firearms was a NRA certified instructor who, in order to demonstrate that guns are safe, threw a handgun onto a table at which I and the rest of my Cub Scout pack were seated. The gun spun around a few times before ending up pointed squarely at me.

The experience made two things clear to me: not all instructors are good instructors, and I really don’t want to be on the business end of a firearm ever again.

Proper instruction on safe firearm handling is something I firmly believe should be taught in schools through a well-designed curriculum. The problem: there are lots of shadetree “instructors” out there in addition to just plain unqualified people teaching “gun safety.” And it sometimes leads to tragic situations like what happened in Indiana last night.

From Chicago’s-CBS affiliate:

A man has been charged with five felonies after his 9-year-old daughter was killed when a gun discharged as he was telling his kids not to play with guns in Hobart, Indiana.

About 5 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to a call of a person shot in the 100 block of East 10th Avenue, according to Hobart police. They found Olivia Hummel lying unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head in the bedroom of the home. Her dad, Eric Hummel, was kneeling next to her.

“She’s dead. She’s f—ing dead,” Hummel told officers when they arrived, police said.

The father was “teaching” his kids not to play with guns. By pointing a firearm at his children and pulling the trigger.

The gun was unloaded when Hummel was showing it to his sons, police said. He later re-loaded the gun, but forgot he had done so. He told the boys “never use a gun” and “this is why” before he pointed it at his daughter, who had just walked into the room, and shot her in the head.

As Hobart Police Chief Richard W. Zormier put it:

“I believe this was a series of heinous and depraved acts committed by the suspect on June 10. His actions that day endangered the lives of all three children and ultimately stole the life of Olivia, an innocent 9-year-old girl. His actions caused the death of Olivia and likely scarred the boys emotionally for life.”

There’s a very good reason why the Four Rules of Firearm Safety exist. Follow them at all times and the likelihood of a tragedy like this are virtually nil. Ignore them and you may find yourself having destroyed much more than just your own life.

comments

  1. avatar Ed says:

    How are you teaching firearm safety while breaking the first rule?
    Also,yet more proof that apendix carry is just dumb.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      There’s a very good reason why the Four Rules of Firearm Safety exist.

      There is great wisdom in the 4 rules. Even if we know the gun to be unloaded, we always treat the gun as if it was loaded. Rule #1. And why? Because we cannot trust ourselves. We cannot make assumptions. Especially when we get older, we get forgetful, sometimes our mind glitches out and we see things or do things or assume things that just aren’t so. To protect against that… rule No. 1. Always assume it is loaded. Typically, for anything bad to happen at least 2 of the rules must be broken. This guy broke rule No 2 and rule no 3 also. Never point it at anything you aren’t going to kill/destroy and keep your finger off the trigger.

      1. avatar American Patriot says:

        I have to disagree, he broke evey rule….If he would of followed just (1) rule this tragedy would not have happen, Think about it!

    2. avatar AFGus says:

      What exactly does “appendix carry” have to do with this situation? Let me answer the question for you……nothing! Appendix carry is perfectly safe if you have a modern, well maintained firearm and follow the four rules of firearm safety. Why would you even throw in that little tid bit of untrue information to this particular situation? Or any situation for that matter.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        Yeah, because muzzling your own femoral artery while carrying/holstering isn’t a danger at all!

        1. avatar AFGus says:

          With a modern firearm and following the rules of firearms handling, you’re right…it is no more dangerous than carrying on your hip, under your armpit or right above your tailbone. If you’re a dumbass and do not follow the rules of handling firearms, any of those positions are most likely going to seriously injure or kill you if the firearm discharges. Get a clue.

        2. avatar Ed says:

          You walk around with a pistol pointed at your dick and I’m the one who needs a clue???
          (By the way, that was sarcasm…seems how your reading comprehension skills are sub-par.)

        3. avatar AFGus says:

          Sarcasm or not……you still couldn’t buy a clue if you won Publishers Clearing House.

        4. avatar Angry D says:

          It’s. In. A. Friggin. Holster. You. Walnut.

          Please cite for me the number of HOLSTERED FIREARMS that have randomly FIRED THEMSELVES into someone’s femoral artery. I’ll wait while you seek out the statistics.

          By the way, 11% of negligent discharges, according to the NRA, occur when holstering the firearm. Most of you carry behind your ample asses and don’t see the holster or the gun when you’re putting it away. A RESPONSIBLE APPENDIX CARRIER holsters his firearm BEFORE putting the holster in place.

          A local gun shop in my area has a bullet hole in the floor in front of the cash register where an ass-holsterer like yourself shot himself in his right cheek while holstering a 1911 in 2008.

          Grow up and stop interjecting nonsense into these discussions. How and where a person carries a firearm is their own business, not yours. This article has nothing whatsoever to do with appendix carry.

        5. avatar Rattlerjake says:

          Ed, you’re exactly the type of person that should never handle a firearm! First you make a ridiculous assumption about appendix carry, which has NOTHING to do with this situation, and when called on it you claim it was sarcasm! Real intelligent people don’t need to be educated on firearm safety by a numbnut like you, especially since it’s numbnuts like you that have the NDs/ADs!

    3. avatar IN Dave says:

      Actually I think this could be an example where appendix carry is a good thing for the gun community. If this guy would have “taught” himself how to appendix carry before his kids were conceived then we probably wouldn’t be reading this story.

      1. avatar AFGus says:

        You’re probably right, but anyone as dumb as this guy is a danger no matter how they carry their firearm

    4. avatar Taylor TX says:

      LOL has nothing to do with appendix carry except trolls can focus on both at the same time!

      1. avatar AFGus says:

        LOL… Exactly!

        1. avatar Ed says:

          I hope you both apendix carry until you sterilize yourselves…moron hipsters…carry your gun on your hip, like a man.

        2. avatar Rattlerjake says:

          Ed, go back in your hole! No one gives a rat’s-ass about your hatred of “appendix” carry. It’s a true moron like you that will shoot yourself because you are not well versed enough in handling your weapon, holstering and unholstering, to prevent AD’s! Grow up, WE DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!

  2. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Criminally negligent homicide. Give him the maximum because, no, he hasn’t suffered enough, in my opinion.

    1. avatar JoeVK says:

      If I were in his position, I’d waive my right for an attorney, plead guilty to whatever charges are against me, and tell the judge I’ll accept whatever sentencing I receive, because I deserve it.

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Yeah, I don’t know how you ever look in the mirror after something like that, and I don’t mean that in a judgemental, high-horse kind of way.

        I mean it in a “there’s a lot of bad shit that’s happened that didn’t make me kill myself, but that might.” way.

      2. avatar Phil says:

        I have no doubt. If it had happened to me I would suicide. Nothing, I say nothing, can shelter me for having killed my 9 years old daughter (my daughter is actually 7, alive and well). I would just kill myself. A guy like this guy doesn’t deserve to live. I wouldn’t want to live with this burden anyways – I’d want to die in any way possible. Death for a father killing his own children is the only, possible solution.

      3. avatar Cedar says:

        Japanese-style ritual suicide is this guy’s best option.

        1. avatar Wzrd says:

          Was going to post a picture of Will Ferrell as Harry Caray, but evidently that’s not possible here.

        2. avatar Wzrd says:

          Just saw on another TTAG page a Southpark clip posted in comments section. Somebody teach me how to computer…?

  3. avatar Mr.Savage says:

    poor girl, happy father’s day to this moron in prison for killing this child, hope someone teaches him the “ins and outs” of prison life, repeatedly.

    to all the good dad’s out there in TTAG land, a sincere happy father’s day to you, I’ll be far too busy to visit. be safe out there!

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Poor kid. She was killed by the one man she should have been able to trust without question. Do we know if alcohol was involved?

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      ‘Do we know if alcohol was involved?’

      That was my thought. Was the last thing that girl ever heard, ‘Hold my beer. Watch this!’?

      1. avatar Ollie says:

        Alcohol and/or drugs in all likelyhood.

        1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

          And stupidity.

        2. avatar derek says:

          I’m betting on stone sober and stupid

  5. avatar JoeVK says:

    Wow. Just. Wow. How could anyone be so stupid? I mean, liberals are one thing, but this? This is stupid on a significantly higher level.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      At least (most) Liberals are smart enough to know they should not be trusted with firearms.

  6. avatar strych9 says:

    Damn, that seriously sucks. Seeing the mistakes of others can be seriously depressing.

    Side note: VODA is still a thing. That guy (VODA or whatever the fuck he calls himself) needs a serious asskicking. He’s gonna end up like this at some point point, having accidentally blasted someone and in serious legal trouble. He’ll probably cry racism about that too though.

    If you wanna get dickbent about people damaging our rights and making us look bad, look no farther than VODA Consulting.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      That guy, fortunately, is out of business. Recently had his credentials and business license yanked, and has been warned off. (None too soon.)

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        He lost his creds but I didn’t know he lost his business license.

        He’s still mall ninjaing the fuck out on the interwebz though.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          Maybe he didn’t lose his business license…I thought so, but could be wrong about that.

    2. avatar Dick Edwards says:

      His website is still active. A quote from it follows:

      “Realizing that he had the exceptional gift of educating people in the use of firearms for personal protection applications he started a Non-Profit; VODA Consulting / VODA Inc.”

      SMH

  7. avatar The Rookie says:

    Poor kid. RIP, little one.

  8. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I hope this guy goes to prison for 25 years at least. He is not the first “gun expert” “instructor” to kill or wound his student.

    I have paid for my first Defensive Pistol I class for the 25 june. I know this instructor. He taught Introduction to Hand Guns to my daughter. Sitting in the back of the class observing him I could tell he knew what he was doing and was very safe. He threatened to remove a student if they didn’t obey the range rules.
    I stopped buying guns for 2017 and I’m taking training classes. I’ve got four other classes scheduled.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    Hobart. Not known as a bastian of intelligence or good sense. I suspect pop was drunk or high. What an azzwhole…

    1. avatar PDW says:

      …”bastion”. ?

  10. avatar G says:

    Wow, thats a tragedy. I also wonder if alcohol or drugs were involved. Hopefully everyone who reads takes a moment to take stock of how well they follow the rules of gun safety instead of just laughing about it.

  11. avatar FedUp says:

    I once knew a woman who gave her kid a fire safety lesson by setting kid’s dress on fire, is that close enough?

    1. avatar Joel says:

      I’ll throw myself under the bus here.

      When I was 11, I nearly drowned my little sister and myself trying to teach her how to swim, by putting her on my back and swimming to the deep end of the pool. ? I’ve never set anyone on fire though…

      And I learned early to always treat a gun if it were loaded.

  12. avatar Stan says:

    Gonna give my kids a big hug when I get home. Death is too good for this dumbshit.

  13. avatar FedUp says:

    Funny, when a police firearms instructor shoots a student in the classroom, they don’t immediately arraign him on five felony charges…

    1. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

      Citation?

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        The results of a few minutes’ searching:

        More than four months after rookie State Trooper David Kedra was killed in a Montgomery County training exercise, authorities on Tuesday identified and charged his shooter – an experienced instructor – with reckless endangerment.
        http://www.policemag.com/channel/careers-training/news/2015/02/12/pennsylvania-trooper-charged-in-training-accident-shooting-of-fellow-officer.aspx

        http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/news/2015/01/22/mississippi-gaming-agent-killed-in-training-accident.aspx

        This one occurred after training, and the shooter wasn’t the instructor. It took three weeks before they even released the name of the shooter:
        http://www.ocala.com/article/LK/20150429/News/604143018/OS/

        1. avatar MDC says:

          Pigs are never held to the same standard as common citizens.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Society asks cops to do jobs we as a society don’t want to do. Like responding to a head shot 9 yo girl.

          Society cuts the cops a little more slack for this and many other reasons. Rational folk understand this. The other type, don’t.

        3. avatar DaveL says:

          A lot of people do jobs that the rest of society doesn’t want to do. Some of those because they’re dangerous, some are physically taxing, some because they’re emotionally draining, or boring, or dirty, or just take more intellectual effort than most are willing to put out. Rational people understand this. The rest argue about it online.

        4. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

          The first story clearly states the shooter had been arraigned on felony charges, the second two talk about ongoing investigations. Sorry. You failed to prove that cops walk scot-free.

        5. avatar Chris says:

          you asked for a citation and got it. Now you seem upset. I can see a number of cases where no charges were filed.
          We had one at a range here in NoVa wear a DEA shot another one at the range. No charges.

    2. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      About 20 years ago I was on a range receiving instruction from a “highly qualified” law enforcement firearms instructor (agency will remain unnamed). After the perfunctory safety lecture he dove into the Remington 870 which he borrowed from another agent. Within about a minute he was pointing the shotgun at my chest and trying to manipulate the slide. After multiple attempts and growing frustration he finally actuated the slide release at which time a 12 ga. slug round was ejected. Lucky for me he had not pulled the trigger. The look on his face was priceless as were the words out of my mouth. Knucklehead was promptly reminded of Rule 1. (The instructor was fired from his job for other reasons related to firearms instructiin a few years later. He’s since gone on into the private sector to ply the trade with some success as well as contriversy there)

      So yeah stupid things are done by law enforcement firearms instructors.

  14. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Criminally stoopid.

  15. avatar Ing says:

    Jesus Christ… What do you say about something like this? I’m sick to my stomach right now.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yeah.
      Me too.

      1. avatar TStew says:

        Ditto…

        Tom, aren’t you an ex-LEO? I ask because I’m curious if I’m the only one who read this statement and wondered how much of an accident it was… “He told the boys “never use a gun’ and ‘this is why’ before he pointed it at his daughter, who had just walked into the room, and shot her in the head.”

        “This is why” really sticks out in my head and makes me think this no accident, which, should that be the case, makes it all the more disgusting.

  16. avatar DaveL says:

    He told the boys “never use a gun” and “this is why” before he pointed it at his daughter, who had just walked into the room, and shot her in the head.

    I literally froze and stood staring at this, dumbfounded.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      Holy Mother of God. I think I would have told those boys to leave the room, and then finish the job.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      It doesn’t make sense, does it? What was supposed lesson here? If the gun was unloaded, he would have taught them that point a gun and pulling the trigger on someone does nothing.

      I have to wonder if this isn’t a BS story.

      If it happened that way he should have taken himself out next somewhere out back.

      1. avatar TStew says:

        THIS…so freeking this.

        I guess I should have scrolled down before replying to Tom from OR…I am not the only one who saw that and pondered how much of an accident this really was.

  17. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

    Man. I’ve been through some wicked bad shit, darkness with no way out, and made it through. This, though? I’d have killed myself. No doubt. No way I could live after that.

    Seriously. I have never, NEVER in 53 years thought suicide sounded like an idea. This would do it.

    1. avatar PDW says:

      ….then you’d go to Hell.

      1. avatar Calvin says:

        [Citation Needed] ?

      2. avatar The Brig says:

        From an agnostic POV, anyone who’d shoot their own kid for whatever reason would already be headed to hell, so why not earn a first class seat and tack suicide on to the bill?

  18. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    I dunno. Maybe it would be best for everyone if they just handed the gun to back to him in his cell.

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      Apparently they let him out on $7k bond. It hard to imagine that they are not hoping for the question of what to do with him to be resolved before the trial.

  19. avatar George Steele says:

    EVERY time I read about something like this, where a child is killed by an idiotic move, it makes me want to throw up. When the killer has killed his own child, I literally feel like my heart has left my body. The thought of harm coming to my own son from any cause is unbearable. If I were to be the agent of his harm, I could never forgive myself. If the harm were lethal, well, what’s the point of life after that?

  20. avatar Brian says:

    Still, suicide is never the answer. He has other children. Two deaths don’t make a life. Guilty and negligent, yes. Beyond hope, no.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      Sometimes suicide is the answer, each individual person has the right to ask and answer that question for themselves and no one else.

      1. avatar PDW says:

        No, life is a gift from G-d and only he has the right to choose the time of your death. It’s a sin. /sarc

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          When you are laying in a hospital bed, in terrible pain, knowing you only have a few weeks to live, you might think differently.

  21. avatar FlamencoD says:

    So tragic. Poor girl and family. WTH was this guy thinking??

    1. avatar shoeless joe says:

      WTH, was this guy thinking?

  22. avatar Isaac says:

    “I believe this was a series of heinous and depraved acts committed by the suspect on June 10. His actions that day endangered the lives of all three children and ultimately stole the life of Olivia, an innocent 9-year-old girl. His actions caused the death of Olivia and likely scarred the boys emotionally for life.”

    GOOD! FINALLY somebody has the stones to say what is true. Chief Zormier thank you for having what it takes to speaking the truth!

  23. avatar johnjohn says:

    There was an incident a couple of years ago where a nine year old girl was taken to a shooting range by her parents while vacationing in Arizona and they thought it would be cute to see their little “Suzzie” with an Uzi…..the firearms instructor handed her an Uzi set on full automatic with a bare minimum of instruction and she let loose a burst …lost control of the weapon and killed the instructor with a shot to the head…pretty stupid on the parents part as well as the instructor and I imagine the little girl will be haunted by this tragedy for the rest of her days.

    1. avatar AFGus says:

      I remember that incident well. It was all over the news for days

  24. avatar Mark says:

    Definitely not parent of the year material. Ignorant hoosiers.

  25. avatar Rob Black says:

    Dear god, that is horrifyingly sad, tragic and downright idiotic.

    RIP Olivia.

  26. avatar Boba Fett says:

    Ugh. That’s too much.

  27. avatar Asamurai says:

    “He later re-loaded the gun, but forgot he had done so. He told the boys “never use a gun” and “this is why” before he pointed it at his daughter, who had just walked into the room, and shot her in the head.”

    Well, you gotta give him one thing. He was right. The sad part is he didn’t know how right he was, before hand.

  28. avatar Mark Lee says:

    The description of the father’s actions made me think that he may have been drunk or stoned to have “forgotten” that he had subsequently reloaded the firearm, then started to what he thought was dry-firing the gun while aimed at the children. This is entirely sad and tragic, but the ignorance and utter stupidity of the father is clear. His genes should not be passed on to future generations.

  29. avatar Gaston's love child says:

    “He told the boys “never use a gun” and “this is why” before he pointed it at his daughter, who had just walked into the room, and shot her in the head.”

    Seems like a statement of intent to me.

  30. avatar Kaban says:

    Almost classic description of drunken “accidental” shooting.

  31. avatar Hugo says:

    How can society keep guns out of the hands of morons?

  32. avatar Richard McGannon, Esq. says:

    This reminds me of the Father who took his son to a gun show and test fired an Uzi on auto, then handed it to his 10 year old son who had never fired such a weapon. The son pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the barrel to his head where he was promptly killed by the 2nd or 3rd round leaving the muzzle.

  33. avatar Stevewonderful says:

    “HOBART, Ind. (CBS) — A man has been charged with five felonies after his 9-year-old daughter was killed when a gun discharged as he was telling his kids not to play with guns in Hobart, Indiana…”

    When it discharged??? Dumbass media…

  34. avatar 5WarVeteran says:

    It is sad and the Police Chief is an ignorant rude dumbass.

    1. avatar Scrote McGee says:

      Sounds like the Chief hit the nail right on the head, to me.

  35. avatar Scrote McGee says:

    There are times when I say someone has suffered enough, and should receive a sentence that does not include prison. This is not one of those times.

  36. avatar Bud says:

    He was a good guy with a gun until he wasn’t.

  37. avatar M. Atkinson says:

    What an idiot!

  38. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    In Kansas the law does not allow any ammunition in the classroom during that portion of a concealed carry class. Guns are cleared and the Four Rules are stressed.
    Kansas has Constitutional Carry and no instruction is required. That is the only downside to Constitutional Carry.

    People who learned how to handle a gun watching Magnum PI or a John Wayne movie are dangerous.

    The movie El Dorado may be the worst “lesson” ever. At least in his last movie, The SHOOTIST he did say, Load 5.

  39. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzHEOSyMqug

    This is a “priceless “video of a DEA Agent who shoots himself after saying “I’m the only one in this room qualified to handle this gun.” A Glock

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