Chad Wainscott, a 50-year-old farmer and grandfather from Worthville, Kentucky, was fatally shot at a local gun store after a fellow customer accidentally discharged a firearm. The tragic incident, which occurred June 29, took place at Humphrey Double H Farms Enterprises Inc., according to a Kentucky State Police (KSP) news release. It was also 100 percent avoidable had standard firearms safety procedures been followed.

The preliminary investigation by KSP revealed that another customer was handling a firearm for sale when a single round discharged, striking Wainscott, who was inside the store. Despite immediate life-saving efforts by other patrons and emergency medical services (EMS), Wainscott later succumbed to his injuries at the local hospital.

Wainscott was a beloved member of the Wheatley and Carrollton communities, known for his warm smile and infectious personality, according to various news and social media reports.

“When you seen Chad, you seen a smile,” Ernest Welch, owner of Welch’s Riverside Restaurant in Carrollton, told WLKY news. Welch fondly remembered Wainscott and his father as frequent customers who often spoke about their love for farming.

Police do not suspect foul play in the shooting, and the individual who discharged the firearm is cooperating fully with investigators. However, multiple safety rules that even a beginning shooter should be able to follow were clearly ignored by both the store and the customer handling the gun. On the store’s part, firearms for sale and being handled by customers should never have live ammunition in it and before handing the gun to a customer should be checked while pointed in a safe direction to make sure the chamber is clear and handed to the customer with the chamber open. When handed a firearm, the first thing anyone should do—even in a store—is again, check to ensure the gun is clear by opening the chamber while the gun is pointed in a safe direction. And even after doing so, even in a store or at a gun show or even at a trade show, at no time, should a firearm be pointed in a direction toward another person or in any unsafe direction.

“Based on statements and evidence collected, no charges are pending at this time,” KSP confirmed, though the investigation is ongoing to determine why the gun was loaded and the precise circumstances of the incident.

According to his obituary, Wainscott, also known affectionately as “Little Chigger,” was a dedicated family man who enjoyed working on the farm with his father in recent years. His obituary highlighted his love for the outdoors and various hobbies, including hunting, collecting guns and photographing sunsets. He was also a devoted member of Dallasburg Baptist Church in Wheatley.

Wainscott’s unexpected and senseless death has left a profound impact on the community.

“He was one of the good ones,” a family member told the Daily Mail, expressing the deep sense of loss felt by all who knew him.

The tragedy is a stark reminder to all gun enthusiasts to always follow gun safety protocols any time and any where they are handling firearms, even in a gun store where we often assume the guns are unloaded. While they should always be unloaded in this environment, they still need to be handled as if they are not.

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