Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Hampshire Man Slips on Ice Shooting Self; Death Ruled Accident

Local news reports

New Hampshire's attorney general says a Canterbury, New Hampshire, man died of an accidental gunshot wound to the head.
The report released Wednesday concludes that 53-year-old Mark Kelso's revolver accidentally went off before or after he slipped on ice on Feb. 23.
Attorney General Joseph Foster says Kelso was walking between his truck and a logging skidder when he fell and struck his head on the skidder's blade.
An autopsy revealed bullet fragments from a gunshot wound that entered through Kelso's face.
The report concludes Kelso may have been uncocking his gun when he slipped on the ice. It also states that homicide and suicide cannot be completely ruled out as possibilities; there was no motive nor evidence to support either of those causes. 


  1. Here is a better article which shows the police going all Columbo on this case,

    "But the state seemed unconvinced. In March, it asked Fife to take to a polygraph exam; he agreed but proved too intoxicated to complete it, the report said."

    "Investigators later secretly recorded a conversation between Fife and Raymond Kelso, in which Fife gave an account that they said “was consistent” with what he had previously told them."

    "Investigators said they also interviewed Fife’s son, Peter “Joe” Fife Jr., who lives next to the property. Joe Fife said he had gone grocery shopping at the Tilton Market Basket about the time his father called 911, at 1:35 p.m. Video surveillance showed him paying for those groceries at 2:17 p.m., the report said. The store is about a 20-minute drive from where Kelso was found."

    "Investigators also questioned an armored truck driver named Michael Richard, who Joe Fife told them was a friend and who he said had gotten into an undisclosed argument with Kelso in the summer of last year. Richard acknowledged the argument, according to the report, but claimed it was “not a big deal.” Records from his employer, Loomis Armored, showed he was working in the Manchester area about 1:30 p.m., the report said."

    Its sort of interesting that the firearm mentioned was a single action revolver. Until the 70's, the standard practice was to carry them with the hammer down on an empty chamber to prevent it from resting on the primer of the cartridge. Being dropped on the hammer could cause a round to discharge. This article mentions it being loaded with six.

    "Until the 1970s, when older-design revolvers such as Colt Single Action Armys and Ruger Blackhawks were re-engineered with drop safeties (such as firing pin blocks, hammer blocks, or transfer bars) that prevent the firing pin from contacting the cartridge's primer unless the trigger is pulled, safe carry required the hammer being positioned over an empty chamber, reducing the available cartridges from six to five, or, on some models, in between chambers on either a pin or in a groove for that purpose, thus keeping the full six rounds available. This kept the uncocked hammer from resting directly on the primer of a cartridge. If not used in this manner, the hammer rests directly on a primer and unintentional firing may occur if the gun is dropped or the hammer is struck."

    1. So he did not use safe gun rules as applicable to his weapon. No surprise, just another gun loon being an idiot.