Shooting believed to be an accident
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Aug 28, 2013 | 3522 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Detectives have released additional information concerning a shooting incident which killed a Bradley County man Sunday evening.

Cody Tatum, 28, died from a gunshot wound to his chest.

Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies responded about 10:45 p.m., to a residence at 3248 Spring Place Road where two people had suffered gunshot wounds.

Detective Lt. David Shoemaker said Tuesday that initial investigation found that Tatum and his girlfriend, Gaberilia Wendy Gasparian, 33, were sitting together on a couch. Both were reportedly struck by the same .40 caliber bullet.

According to Shoemaker, Gasparian remains hospitalized in Erlanger Medical Center, but detectives were able to interview her for information about the shooting.

Another witness to the shooting told detectives that alcohol had been involved Sunday evening when Tatum allegedly began playing “recklessly” with the .40 caliber Taurus semi-automatic firearm, according to Shoemaker.

Shoemaker said both Gasparian and the unnamed witness concurred that Tatum had the gun out of its normal storage area and was dry-firing it by pulling the trigger without ammunition.

The witness became uneasy and the firearm was reportedly put away.

“At some point, the gun was brought out again in a playful manner. They were sitting in the chair watching a movie,” Shoemaker said.

Gasparian was reportedly sitting in the chair with Tatum with her back to his chest when Tatum was alleged to have turned the barrel of the gun back toward them and told her to pull the trigger, according to Shoemaker.

At some point, the gun had been reloaded.

“She didn’t know it was loaded and reached and pulled the trigger,” Shoemaker explained.

The bullet traveled through her chest, exited her back, entered Tatum’s chest and exited his back and lodged in the couch, according to the investigator.

“At this point in the investigation, it appears the shooting was accidental in nature; however, investigation is ongoing to determine if criminal charges are warranted,” Shoemaker said.