MILLINGTON – An Atoka gun shop owner was arrested Tuesday after a woman was shot by her 8-year-old son at USA Stadium.
Charles "Bob" McFarland, 76, was charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon after the accidental shooting.
"A young juvenile approximately 8 years old found an unsecured weapon in a bag which was in an antique vehicle that was on display for the veterans celebration that they have at the stadium every year," said Millington Police Chief Mark Dunbar. "The juvenile believed it was a toy gun, picked the gun up, pulled the trigger and accidentally shot his mother."
The mother, whose identity was not shared with the media, was conscious when she left the stadium. She was taken to Regional One Medical Center in critical condition but is now stable.
The shooting happened during the first inning of the Babe Howard Classic at which University of Memphis and UT-Martin were playing. Military vehicles were on display during the event as part of Veterans Appreciation Day.
In addition to being the owner of the federally-licensed gun shop on Old Brighton Road bearing his last name, he also operates the Mid-South Military Museum, which is located behind his house. He owns many war-era military vehicles and often provides them for use at military history events.
McFarland is also the president of the Mid-South Chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, involved with the American Legion, coordinator of military vehicle displays for Celebrate Munford, a deacon at Salem Presbyterian Church and a Master Gardener.
While USA Stadium bans items such as pets and artificial noise makers, it does not specifically have a rule prohibiting guns. Dunbar said common sense should be the rule.
"You have every right to carry if you have a gun permit, but use common sense when it comes to securing weapons."
At press time, McFarland was being held without bond.