Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gorman family speaks out on "training accident"

Note: This story was broadcast a year ago but JJ thought it was worth posting on the second anniversary of Mr. Gorman's death.

WLBT interviewed the family of the late John Gorman.  Mr. Gorman was a Gaming Commission Special Agent who was killed two years ago yesterday when an instructor shot him in the chest during a training exercise.  No one has been charged in the death.  Instructor Robert Sharp claimed he thought his Glock was unloaded when he fired the weapon in an exercise that was supposed to only use "dummy" weapons.  Watch the interview below. - Jackson, MS


Anonymous said...

I don't know either men. It is very hard for me to understand how a person would was an instructor would make such a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Is Instructor Robert Sharp still working for the state?????

I'm always preaching GUN SAFTY to my grandsons when we go hunting;
and one of the things I preach to them is "ALWAYS TREAT A GUN AS IF IT ALWAYS LOADED"!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that he was shot to cover up
wrongdoing by others who may have been involved
in illegal gambling or taking hush money to allow
illegal gaming or any other situation. Hearing the
whole thing is sounds like the killer was quiet anxious to
engage him. This does not sound like carelessness or any type
of accident. Read between the lines here--it may be ugly.

Anonymous said...

2:21 its also POSSIBLE that the dead guy had a photo of the killer engaging with a goat. Outside message boards/blogs, and inside courtrooms and grand jury rooms, you need an item called EVIDENCE, not mere speculation...

Anonymous said...

Was there ever any kind of investigation done?

Anonymous said...

I agree with 12:04.

Anonymous said...

John was killed on January 21, 2015; two years ago yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows the history of the Gaming Commission knows that its been run by a bunch of fools who were in the back pocket of the industry and never intended to enforce either the regulations for the casinos or laws related to illegal gambling. The last real leader they had was General Paul Harvey, who took the Commission's law enforcement mission seriously; since he retired, Chuck Patton, Larry Gregory and Alan Godfrey and the idiots they have appointed have done everything in their power to create an unsafe environment for their agents.

Anonymous said...

The perfect murder. It was an accident.

Close To the Cause said...

I can tell you this, 2:47, that if the family could get one second in court . . . have one second of discovery . . . or get one second of someone's attention they would by now HAVE some evidence. But this keeps getting pushed farther and farther out. Sharp is now "retired" and has never so much as sent a postcard to offer his condolences to the family. John's death was filed as worker's comp. and the attorney general has declared immunity for the state since it happened "on the job".

2:21 - SPOT ON!

Anonymous said...

This story aired a year ago and there has been a lot more recent news with relation to family's lawsuit, etc. Do I think the gaming commission needs new leadership, or should be dissolved and consolidated with the department of revenue (where it started)? Absolutely yes. Do I think that Sharp acted intentionally when he shot Gorman? Absolutely no. This was a case where safety was willfully ignored, reasonable and appropriate precautions were not taken not only to protect the agents involved in the exercise, but the people working in other offices in the strip mall. And most importantly, one individual's ego forever affected the lives and future of the Gorman family.

Anonymous said...

Being complacent can be deadly

Anonymous said...

This was not a case of complacency, it was willful negligence. A person with Sharp's background should have known the risks of his actions, he should have known that introducing a live weapon into a training environment would get somebody killed. While Sharp pulled the trigger, the real blame lies with the gaming commission and its history of tolerance for unsafe practices.

Anonymous said...

What instructor would point a loaded weapon at another person AND pull the trigger. You NEVER point a gun at anyone unless you intend to shoot them. There is definitely something wrong here and there are a lot of people trying to cover it up and it's going all the way to the AG. Maybe Gorman knew something or found something by accident that jeopardized too many people.

Anonymous said...

2:47--Nice deflect but no goat was involved. A man not involved in the training inserts himself, pulls an agency owned weapon while acting irrationally and puts one through the lead investigator. I am not saying its a murder but the killer was not a beginner gunman. When you look at his knowledge and background, it does seem like a good setup to assassinate and call it an accident. I do see your point though--deflect by hollaring goat . Go try that with folk who go away easily.

Anonymous said...

7:00 Complacency causes neglect. And someone should pay for that.

Anonymous said...

A poor, slanted investigation was done by the MS Bureau of Investigations. Due to this Robert Sharp was not indited by Tunica County DA. No investigation was ever done on Robert Sharp. Robert "Bob" Sharp stated it was an accident so they never looked any deeper despite request and additional information from the family. A toxicology was done on John but never on Robert Sharp, this is only one example of the poor job that was done. The MS Bureau of Investigations refuses to reopen the case to investigate further even though they did not do a proper investigation to begin with. It apprears employees of this state are trying to cover something up. Something needs to be done to help this family. Someone needs to step up and force a decision to reopen the investigation.

Hands Up - Just Kidding.. said...

Assuming it was an accident, what possible excuse is given for a trained firearms expert pointing what he thought to be an empty weapon (or one without live rounds) at a man and pulling the trigger? In what scenario does a weapons trainer do something like that, in the first place, ever?

Know The Law.. said...

In Mississippi, the law regarding Workers' Compensation is that its the sole remedy available in (most) cases of workplace accidents.

However, in cases of extreme negligence (intentional or not) on the part of the employer or workplace, that limitation does not exist. Surely the family attorney knows this.

Anonymous said...

Nobody here should be surprised that a proper investigation wasn't done, did the investigator have any experience working these types of cases? It is also my understanding that the investigator who worked on this case was fired not too soon after for some sort of improper political relationship with the DA (who also did no investigation). That alone is reason for a new investigation. Did the gaming commission do an internal investigation? And if they did, what were those findings? I can't believe they didn't do a tox screen on Sharp, this is required for even the smallest of incidents. Perhaps the state was relying on the family being distracted by shock and grief to keep them pursuing the truth.

The governor (who loves to tout his career in law enforcement) should step up for this fallen officer and demand that the case is reopened so the family can get some answers.

This whole thing reeks of incompetence and/or coverup.

Anonymous said...

Know the Law at 5:00, your comment might (emphasizing might) in a private situation. Here, the gaming commission and its employees are protected by the Mississippi Tort Claims Act as a political subdivision and are immune from liability with a few exceptions. However, since the family is entitled to workers comp benefits, 11-46-9(l)mandates that the gaming commission shall not be liable for any other claim. Unfortunately, workers comp is the only remedy here. The state has already filed motions to dismiss the family's tort claim. The case is pending in federal court in oxford before Judge Mills (I think).

Anonymous said...

The Feds should investigate since the enforcement (or not) of Federal Gaming Laws is arguably involved here.

Anonymous said...

Can these reports (the MBI and gaming commission) be requested via the public records law in MS? Can any of the lawyers please respond?

Anonymous said...

10:02, where do federal gambling laws apply in this situation? This is a case of manslaughter with culpable negligence on both the part of the agency and the individual. The feds should get involved because it seems that the state can't investigate its way out of a paper sack.

Thank you Albert Santa Cruz and the MHP for "thoroughly" investigating this case and ignoring the implicit bias demonstrated by the MBI agent (you didn't re-assign, or re-investigate the case even when this was pointed out to you) ---- I'm so glad to see you go you lazy, sad sack of shit.

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to understand how a man who was attacked by a criminal destroying his property can be charged with murder and no investigation done on a man who pulled a gun and killed another man for no reason.

It is very hard to believe it happened in the same state.

Anonymous said...

From the minute John was killed, his family has been treated like shit by the commission. They had no idea how to handle such a crisis, they provided his widow with excuses and misinformation, and continue to refuse to provide her with the answers she deserves. They had an agent sit with Sharp 24/7, but nobody was sent to John's widow's house to see if she needed anything. The law enforcement elements of the funeral were planned by former commission employees to make sure that John received his proper honors and the highway patrol's honor guard did an amazing job and the commission did NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

The circumstances of the shooting, plus the mysterious hour-long delay in getting the victim to the hospital, tell me everything I need to know. There are reasons why Mississippi is listed as 'The Most Corrupt State'.

Anonymous said...

Gorman could have been to definitive care within 30 minutes (just google the map), they should have put him in an agency vehicle immediately and done an EMS intercept on the way to the hospital. The family deserves answers.

Anonymous said...

Mississippians AND the family need answers. Is the man who did the shooting still sane? Still teaching? Just curious.

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