OXFORD, Miss. — A widow of a Mississippi Gaming Commission agent is suing state and local officials after her husband was killed last year during a weapons training exercise.
Summer Gorman filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oxford against three state agencies, Tunica County and two unnamed people, saying 45-year-old John Gorman of Madison died during what should have been a routine event.
In January 2015, John Gorman was participating in a required weapons training seminar in Tunica held by the Gaming Commission when the course instructor shot him in the chest.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 9, says the training scenario was supposed to involve dummy weapons, not real ones.
“A real gun was used by the lead firearms instructor in a non-gun training exercise that was held in an office instead of at a required firearms range,” the lawsuit says. “The firearms instructor ignored significant safety protocols, and thus created a ‘special danger’ to not only John Gorman but also all trainees and the civilians working next door.”
The lawsuit says a medical helicopter arrived and Tunica County deputies decided to not transfer Gorman to a hospital even though a trauma center was nearby.
One of the agencies being sued is the Department of Public Safety, which includes the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. MBI investigated the shooting, and the lawsuit says an MBI agent failed to pursue all leads. Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said Thursday that department officials don’t comment on pending lawsuits.