Man who accidentally shot woman in restaurant: I’m totally distraught

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by Courtney Zubowski/11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 25 at 11:50 PM

KINGWOOD, Texas -- A Kingwood man who accidentally shot an elderly woman when his gun dropped from his coat pocket says he's totally distraught after the incident.

It happened as the man (who did not want to be identified) was having dinner on Jan. 13 at Raffa’s in the 1600 block of W. Lake Houston Pkwy. 

He said he had on a jacket that he hadn’t worn in a year. He said he didn’t know it had his .38 caliber derringer gun in its pocket.

The gun ended up falling out of his pocket. 

“Everybody looked around. There was a big explosion in the restaurant. No one knew what it was. Then, the person who I was dining with saw the derringer under my seat,” he said.

The explosion was his gun going off as it hit the floor.

Police said a bullet hit another diner, Diana Barker, in the buttocks and continued through her hip, into her abdomen and ended at the right side of her chest.

Paramedics rushed the 71-year-old grandmother to Ben Taub Hospital.

“I was almost in shock. Oh my God. That’s my gun,” the Kingwood man said he uttered to himself after the gun went off. “I don’t even know what to say. I’m sorry the whole thing happened. If I knew there was a gun in the jacket, I would not have gone in the restaurant with it.”

Twelve days after the accidental shooting, Barker is still in the hospital. Her sons say their mother is making slow, steady progress, but the road to recovery has been tough.

The bullet is still lodged inside of her and she can feel it. Once she’s able to leave the hospital she’s going to need weeks of rehabilitation.

“I have been wondering how she is doing. I'm totally distraught over the whole thing. I didn't sleep the whole night,” said the Kingwood man. “My prayers are with the family; and I'm hoping she fully recovers.”

The Kingwood man has a concealed handgun license.

According to management at Raffa’s, if you have a concealed handgun license, you can bring a gun into the restaurant.

At this point, the man whose gun went off is not facing criminal charges. That’s why 11 News is not identifying him at this time.

However, on Tuesday, sources close to the investigation said the case is not closed.  He could still face criminal charges and the case could go before a grand jury.

The gun owner told 11 News he knows that is a possibility.

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