"Unfortunate accident" at Kamloops gun range shocks shooting community

By Jill Sperling
June 12, 2017 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS — The B.C. shooting community is shocked and saddened by the death of a Vancouver man at a Kamloops gun range on Sunday. 

"It's a close knit community in the shooting fraternity, just like most sports. It hits close to home," said Kamloops Target Sports Association president, Jim Sloper. 

A 50-year-old man, identified by a social media post as Dr. Richard Cho, was competing in a pistol competition at the Kamloops Target Sports Shooting Complex when he accidentally shot himself in the torso. 

"Apparently he fumbled his gun," Sloper said. "It slipped. You know, how often might you drop something? He tried to retrieve it and it went off. That just doesn't happen." 

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie with the Kamloops RCMP says despite life-saving efforts the fumble was fatal. 

"Witnesses on scene administered first aid immediately," Shelkie said, "and BC Ambulance attended and transported him to Royal Inland Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries."

Sloper says the weekend competition had strict guidelines, and Cho wouldn't have been allowed to compete if he wasn't an experienced shooter. 

"The sport shooting that they're doing, the discipline that they're doing is very strictly regimented," Sloper explained. "You have to take a course on safety, handling firearms from the holster before you're allowed to compete at a competition like last weekend."

Sloper and RCMP agree Cho's death was an unfortunate, and tragic accident.

"It's a very safe sport, and it's just an unfortunate accident, there's no other way to describe it," Sloper said.

"This is a very unusual circumstance to happen," Shelkie said. "Gun ranges are very safe places. There are lots of rules and regulations, this is a very odd thing to happen anywhere in the province, and even anywhere in the country." 

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