(WCPO/CNN) — A community in Ohio is mourning a gun shop owner killed during a concealed carry class in his store.
James Baker, 64, was a man who neighbors say shoveled everyone’s driveway in winter, the man who always had a friendly smile.
“He is very well known because he is always dealing with different officers and other people with their guns and stuff,” said neighbor Sherri Ward.
Baker owned Kayjay Gun Shop in Amelia, the shop where he and his instructors taught concealed carry, self-defense and shooting courses.
But on this afternoon, a lesson went tragically wrong. Clairmont County deputies say around 1 p.m., one of 10 concealed carry class students would accidentally discharge a handgun while practicing weapon malfunction drills.
The bullet would go through a wall and hit Baker’s neck. He was sitting in a room next door.
Deputies called Air Care, but despite efforts to save him, he died before any help came.
Neighbors say Baker owned the gun shop for decades. “That’s the best thing he was doing,” one person said. “He was servicing officers’ weapons to protect the community. … And it was an accident and accidents happen so, you know, I just feel bad for the family.”
The local sheriff says Baker’s body has been taken to a coroner’s office for autopsy. The investigation into the incident is under way.