A man died Sunday after he was handling a loaded gun in a vehicle and it accidently fired.
According to a news release Monday morning from the Ponca City Police Department, authorities were notified of a possible self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly before noon Sunday.
PCFD Paramedics and medical staff also responded to the scene and determined the victim, 23-year-old Cesar Lopez, was deceased.
PCPD detectives were called out to investigate the incident, and at this time, it appears the victim died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The preliminary investigation indicates that Lopez was the passenger in a vehicle, and as the vehicle was being driven, Lopez was handling a loaded firearm in the passenger seat.
According to the vehicle’s driver, as Lopez was handling the firearm, the weapon fired unintentionally and struck Lopez in the head. The driver of the vehicle immediately stopped in the parking lot of Hunan at 2800 N. 5th St., where she called 911.
“The Ponca City Police Department urges all citizens to practice safe handling of all firearms at all times.,” the news release stated. “Tragedies such as this can commonly be avoided by always assuming a firearm is loaded and never pointing a firearm in an unsafe direction.
“Additionally, we urge everyone to keep firearms away from children and stored in a safe location so they are not accessible to anyone who is not familiar with, or capable, of safe firearm handling practices.”