Two die in Washington County gun accidents PDF Print E-mail

Man dies after being shot by 3-year-old son

At approximately 9:55 PM on Friday, July 13, a 911 call came from 3603 West Vincennes Trail in Salem, IN, in reference to a man being shot.
A trooper from the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg and a deputy from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call. When officers arrived they located a deceased male, Michael A. Bayless, 33, from Waverly Road in Martinsville, IN, who was at the residence with his wife, three children and another juvenile family member.

The preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators reveals Michael A. Bayless was watching a TV program with two of his children, when his other child, a three year old boy, located a loaded 45 caliber handgun in the area where they were watching the program. The child accidently discharged the loaded handgun striking Michael A. Bayless. Michael A. Bayless was pronounced dead at the scene.
Michael A. Bayless and his family were at the residence doing remodeling work on the home. No one else at the residence was injured.
This investigation is continuing.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Jerry Goodin said,  “There’s a lot of things we’re still asking questions about and we’ve still go to get some answers. But, right now, really the only thing that we know is the child was able to gain access to gain access to the handgun. The handgun did discharge. It did strike Michael Bayless causing a fatal wound to him.”
According to a report by WAVE TV in Louisville, people who knew Bayless said he had recently bought the home and was fixing it up on weekends.
Goodin told the television statement that the tragedy could have been avoided.
“We have no reason to believe that there’s any foul play involved,” he said. “We think that this is purely a tragic
Continued on page 2
Shooting . . .
Continued from page 1
accident that happened. It was an accident that could have been prevented if the handgun had been out of reach of a 3-year-old child. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.”
Some information for this story was obtained at


18 year old dies in Accidental shooting
Last Wednesday (July 11), an 18-year-old Salem man, Colin Dean Cornett, died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
According to Washington County Sheriff Claude Combs, Cornett was messing with a 22 caliber gun doing target shooting and accidently shot himself.
Cornett’s obituary can be found with the other deaths in this section of the paper.
Combs said with the death of Cornett and the man who was apparently shot by his 3-year-old son, it’s a good time to remind people about gun safety.
“Both of these incidents show just how quickly something bad can happen,” Combs said. “Even if you think the gun is not loaded, you need to treat it like it is.”
Indiana State Police Sargeant Jerry Goodin agreed.
“There are all kinds of safety procedures for people who choose to have guns in their house to follow,” he said. “Those who do need to pick one and follow it.”
Wayne Blevins of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department investigated the accident.