I have known of the shooter for a couple years now, have met him a couple times, never shot with him before, but know he is a very active competitor as is his wife. I see them at every major match I go to. His wife was in a class with my wife so the girls talk every time we meet.
The shooter in this incident was in my squad I was the shooter in the hole when this happened. I was watching the shooter intently when this occurred from a distance of about 5-7yds on his left hand side(he was a lefty). He was not in any sort of hurry did not appear rushed in any way. He had just finished shooting one string and had to reload for the next and did so just as calmly as the guy before. But when he inserted the gun in the holster it discharged, I was quite shocked at what I had just watched and more impressed with his muzzle control after just getting shot, he kept it pointed down range the whole time and gently set it on the ground for the RO to clear while he was falling to the ground. I can tell you there was no possible way for an RO to have stopped this from occurring none whatsoever. I was also impressed with the reaction of the S&W match staff, they had a paramedic on this guy faster than most could figure out what had just happened.
Now as to the dumbass stuff. I have heard of people shooting themselves before. In fact a couple years ago it happened during one of our local matches. I was the SO on the next stage over, so I did not witness it first hand. I have to admitt at that time, I pretty much had that thought that that guy was just a dumbass, probably in a rush and screwed up. This time having witnessed it first hand and knowing the shooter, the thought that this guy was a dumbass never crossed my mind. Not even once. My thoughts were more along the lines of “we play with fire; and if we play with fire sooner or later we are going to get burned.”
The best any of us can hope for is that when we do have that AD that no one looses thier life over it.
(reprinted with permission from mp-pistol.com)