Cops: After Shooting Grandson, Man Finished Officiating Wedding

Texas man faces charges in Nebraska incident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2023 4:53 AM CDT
Cops: Man Officiating Wedding Accidentally Shoots Grandson
Michael Gardner   (Lancaster County Sheriff's Office)

A Texas man decided to start off the wedding he was officiating "with a bang," a deputy says, and that bang allegedly left the man's own grandson with a gunshot wound and the man facing criminal charges. Michael Gardner, 62, shot a revolver into the air to get the attention of the guests at his nephew's wedding around 5pm Saturday in Nebraska, the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office chief deputy says, per CNN. While the gun had been loaded with a blank, he explains, Gardner had "put black powder into the casing and then glued it. And what we believe, is the glue is what injured the child" when the gun somehow slipped, leaving the 12-year-old with a shoulder injury. He is recovering in a hospital, CBS 7 reports.

Gardner—who is an elected official in Texas, the Ector County Commissioner—is charged with felony child abuse committed negligently and resulting in serious bodily injury. "We do not believe Michael intended to hurt his grandchild, but the act was not very smart," the deputy says, adding that alcohol is not believed to have been a factor. Interestingly, Gardner (who tells the Washington Post he wishes he had not used a homemade blank in the borrowed gun, which he had never fired before) finished officiating the ceremony and turned himself in days later. (More Texas stories.)

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