Woman’s Death Ruled Accident After Negligent Discharge

Pendleton, SC — A boyfriend and two of his friends were handling several of their guns when one gun “went off” striking a woman, killing her.

Investigators found Betty Spado, 20, dead in the apartment building at around 8pm, Thursday after the reports of a shooting came in. According to the Anderson County coroner, Spado died at the scene from the fatal gun shot.

Her boyfriend and two other friends were handling several different guns when one “went off.” The fired shot struck the boyfriend in the hand, as well as killing Spado.

Her death was ruled as an “accident” by those investigating.


While it’s true that this was an accident in the sense that they didn’t mean to shoot and kill this girl, there is a certain amount of negligence that must take place when you’re handling firearms and “accidentally” shoot someone.

It sounds like these guys grew complacent in their firearms handling skills, or they never had firearms handling skills to begin with. One thing is for certain, guns don’t just “go off.” They don’t just discharge themselves. Something must have come into contact with the trigger as the muzzle was being pointed in the girl’s direction.

Several of the firearms safety rules were violated here, and a young lady lost her life because of it. The first thing you must do whenever you pick up a gun or when someone hands you a gun is to check and see if it’s loaded. And even then, you always treat it as if it’s still loaded.

If you’re planning to pull the trigger, say, in dry fire which we’re huge supporters of, you still point the gun in a safe direction. All of the firearm rules were violated to some degree here, and their negligence took an innocent life.

If you need a refresher on the firearms safety rules, there is no harm in going over them again, here. Heck, I still sometimes recite them on my way to the gun range out of habit from when I was in my beloved Marine Corps.

Leave your thoughts on this tragic story in the comments below.


  1. Douglas G on February 11, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Joshua, great that you put the link to the ules in the article. Whenever I post/repost a story to my FB page like this I tell readers to do just that, re-read and consider each rule and how they follow or don’t follow them and to re-commit to making them the priority again.
    I too don’t believe in accidents as they relate to firearms. It is so sad that someone had to lose her life before these guys got it. Semper Fi Brother.

  2. Brett Wagner on February 20, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! Guns do not just go off, even if this was considered a AD case, I would hope to God that some one was held accountable for the loss of this young ladies life! She was only 20 yrs old for Gods sake,,, I guess it is true as the phrase goes “be sure to always choose your associations wisely, because you never know when they may take you down with their lack of good choices”!

  3. Corey Naylor on September 10, 2020 at 5:36 am

    This is why Gun Safes are important because of the cases reported about the negligence of the owners of the gun. Misplacing and Mishandling guns can be a dangerous practice if someone is not responsible for the issues about the problem.
    We should ALWAYS put that in mind that every time we carry a GUN, ALWAYS think it is loaded and can be fatal, and ALWAYS be RESPONSIBLE when it comes to safety. Maybe some people should undergo counseling and seminar about How BIG the Responsibility when owning a gun.

  4. Tony Cox on August 19, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    Besides violating the 4 universal safety rules when handling a firearm, some common sense on part of the firearm owner was missing. As a NRA instructor, I teach that the number one safety is located behind your eyes and between your ears. If someone doesn’t know how to properly clear a firearm, they shouldn’t be handling it. If I’m unsure how a specific firearm operates, I ask someone who is knowledgeable to show me. (Believe it or not, some gun shop employees will hand you a gun without clearing it first.) Every time a gun changes possession, it should be cleared and its’ operating status known. Accidents don’t just happen, it is negligence by someone’s actions

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