FISHERS, Ind.– Fishers police say a child fired a shot inside an IKEA store.
The incident occurred around 2 p.m. Monday at the Fishers IKEA at 11400 IKEA Way.
Authorities say a customer sat down on a couch to test it and a gun became dislodged from his pants. He didn’t realize it and continued shopping.
Kids found the gun and one of them pulled the trigger, firing a single shot. No injuries were reported. The store remained open after the incident.
Police conducted interviews with witnesses and will forward their information to the prosecutor to determine any potential charges.
Fishers Police Sgt. Tom Weger said the incident is an example of the importance of responsible gun ownership.
“It’s important to remember that if you are going to carry a firearm on your person, that you make sure you’re under control of it at all times. It’s just part of gun ownership, responsible gun ownership,” he said.
The store remained open after the incident.
IKEA issued this statement:
“We take this incident very seriously and we have offered the family of the child involved our sincerest apologies.
“Safety and security of customers and co-workers is the top priority for IKEA. We have processes in place to ensure that the store is safe for customers and co-workers. For example, our store team has regular safety walks and audits which happen before, during and after opening hours. In addition, IKEA has a no weapon policy in our locations to prevent exactly these types of situations. As soon as we were made aware of the situation, our co-workers took the action they were trained to do to ensure the safety of customers. We are cooperating with police as they investigate this incident.”
In terms of any potential charges the gun’s owner could face, the law is actually quite complicated. Gun expert, and attorney Guy Relford says the fact that no one was hurt, does play in the gun owner’s favor.
“Being a knucklehead is not a crime in Indiana, or in most places,” Relford said.
Relford added that perhaps the closest charge the gun’s owner could receive is criminal recklessness. But that charge states the person has to knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly commit an act. Relford says this case sounds much more like an inadvertent error than something intentional or reckless.
“That can translate into civil liability, but that alone doesn’t result in criminal culpability,” Relford said.
IKEA does have a posted “no gun” policy near its entrance, however because there is no law in Indiana that designates the violation of those policy as “illegal,” the gun’s owner cannot be subject to a criminal charge for violation of the policy.
“I actually doubt there will be criminal charges filed,” Relford said.
Indiana is among the worst states when it comes to kids accidentally getting a hold of guns. According to a 2016 report, Indiana ranked seventh in the country for accidental shootings involving children.