The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Oklahoma. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.
The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Unknown PENDING
Date: March 21, 2019
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On March 21, 2019, an unidentified concealed handgun permit holder allegedly shot and killed one of his coworkers, David Wilfong, 39, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The shooting occurred in the parking lot across the street from Superior Salvage, a salvage yard where both men worked. The two men had been arguing throughout the day prior to the shooting. Wilfong was shot three times. No charges have yet been filed, pending the investigation.
Source: “TPD identifies man shot, killed by coworker in north Tulsa,” ktul.com, March 22, 2019; “Man shot, killed during apparent dispute at Tulsa salvage yard,” krmg.com, March 21, 2019.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Ethan Spruill CONVICTED
Date: February 15, 2014
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On February 15, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder Ethan Spruill shot and killed Aaron McCray following an altercation in McCray’s apartment. McCray lived with his fiancée, Stephanie Grantham, and two children in the apartment below Spruill’s. Prior to the shooting, McCray and Grantham had complained to the apartment manager about noise from Spruill’s apartment. On the night of the shooting, Spruill returned to the apartment from work around 7:00 PM. He had been drinking during the day at work as well as on the way home. After drinking beer and vodka outside with McCray’s next door neighbors, Spruill returned to his apartment and smoked marijuana. He later came out of his apartment and joined a group of people on the upstairs landing of the apartment building. Grantham approached him and complained that he had awakened her children by stomping on the floor of the apartment, which he denied. Spruill became angry and accused Grantham of yelling at her children and abusing them. A short time later Spruill, armed with his revolver in a holster on his hip, decided to go to Grantham and McCray’s apartment to confront the couple. Spruill beat on the door of the apartment, repeated his accusations, called the couple cowards, and said, “It’s not like I’m going to shoot you, or am I?” McCray opened the door and Spruill either fell or was pulled into the apartment and a fight ensued. McCray landed on top of Spruill, pinning him down. Spruill pulled his gun and shot McCray in the chest several times. Spruill was convicted of first degree manslaughter and on July 13, 2016 and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Source: Spruill v. Braggs, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 222483, 2019 WL 7285564.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Gary Carl Buoy CONVICTED
Date: January 7, 2011
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On January 7, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Gary Carl Buoy, 52, shot and killed his wife, Diana Faye Buoy, 51. The shooting occurred in the couple’s apartment. Buoy told police that he had accidently shot his wife in the head from several feet away while holding a .357 Charter Arms revolver and playing with the gun’s hammer. Buoy was later arrested in June when the autopsy on his wife revealed that the gun had been fired two to four inches from her head. When confronted by police, Buoy replied that he and his wife must have been much closer to each other than he originally thought. Press accounts detailed how in their closing argument, the prosecution team noted that Buoy’s holding the revolver to his wife’s head “was in total disregard for basic firearm safety—something in which Buoy had been trained as he held a concealed carry permit—and was in total disregard for human life.” On February 9, 2012, Gary Carl Buoy was convicted of second degree murder. The jury recommended that he serve 15 years in the Department of Corrections.
Source: “Final arguments heard in murder trial for B‘ville man accused of shooting wife,” www.kjrh.com, February 9, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Jerome Ersland CONVICTED
Date: May 19, 2009
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On May 19, 2009, Jerome Ersland shot and killed Antwun Parker, a 16-year-old who attempted to rob the Reliable Discount Pharmacy where Ersland worked as a pharmacist. Parker and another man entered the pharmacy as it was about to close at approximately 6:00 PM and pulled a gun, demanding cash and drugs. Ersland pulled his own gun and shot Parker in the head. The other robber fled the store and Ersland gave chase. Ersland then returned to the store, walked past Parker who was on the floor, retrieved another gun, and shot Parker five more times in the stomach. A coroner’s report indicated that the shot to the head would not have been fatal, and ruled that the cause of death was the five shots to the stomach. Ersland possessed a concealed handgun permit despite being accused by his ex-wife of displaying “paranoid behavior” and abusing drugs. He was also alleged to have been under the care of a mental health professional in the past. Ersland was reported to have owned more than 100 weapons. The district attorney in Oklahoma concluded that Ersland should be charged with first degree murder because Parker at that point was unarmed, unconscious, and lying on his back, posing no threat to Ersland when he fired the five shots into Parker’s stomach.
UPDATE: On May 26, 2011, Jerome Ersland was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of Antwun Parker. The jury deliberated for less than four hours before finding Ersland guilty. Ersland faces a sentence of up to life in prison.
Source: “Self-Defense case: Pharmacist guilty,” The Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2011; “Pharmacy Robberies,” U.S. Pharmacist, July 20, 2009; “Shooting raises question on concealed carry permits,” The Oklahoman, June 10, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Kenneth Gumm CONVICTED
Date: June 10, 2007
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On June 10, 2007, Kenneth Gumm shot and killed Dale Turney in a road-rage incident. Gumm claimed that Turney tailgated him and followed him into a parking lot, blocking him in. Gumm had a permit to carry a concealed weapon as well as being CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) trained and a certified armed security guard. On May 29, 2008, Gumm pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was given a five-year suspended sentence.
Source: “Causes of road rage are many,” Tulsa World, May 21, 2008; “Former security guard pleads guilty to manslaughter,” Tulsa World, May 29, 2008; “Ex-security guard gets suspended sentence for fatal shooting,” Tulsa World, July 15, 2008.