Accidental shooting results in the death of a woman and the arrest of grandson

TOMMY COMEAUX tcomeaux@

Investigators believe a 19-year-old Plaquemine man killed his grandmother accidentally with a semi-automatic handgun he had recently purchased.

"He told us he was sitting on the floor removing the magazine from his weapon as his grandmother walked past him, the family dog following her," said Police Chief Kenneth Payne. "He was not fully aware that there was still a round in the chamber."

The police chief said Blaise Horton lived with his grandmother on Bubba Street in Plaquemine and has been charged with negligent homicide. 

The grandmother, Cathy DuPont Fulton, was shot in the lower back and the bullet moved from there to her shoulder, Payne said. "The bullet grazed the dog when it was accidentally fired." 

"He was sitting on the floor with his pistol and had dropped the magazine out of it," he continued."He was not fully aware that the gun had a round in its chamber nor that it could be fired with its magazine out."

Payne said Horton was pushing the dog away from him when he dropped the gun and it fired when he caught it. 

Emergency medical technicians with the Plaquemine Fire Department and Acadian Ambulance used CPR on the woman, believed to be in her mid-60s, for about 15 minutes but could not save her, he added. The exact cause of her death will be determined by an autopsy, Hayne said.

Payne said based on the recording of Horton's 911 call, his account of what happened and evidence at the scene, District Attorney Ricky Ward's office recommended the charge. 

"When the young man called 911, he didn't know that he'd shot his grandmother," the police chief continued. "He thought she had just passed out."

Payne called the incident "an unfortunate tragedy" and said it might have been avoided had the grandson been properly trained with his weapon. 

"I recommend everyone who owns a gun -- no matter the type -- to be familiar with it to reduce the chances of a similar incident," he said.