Freak Accident: Lawyer Takes Mother in for MRI, Ends Up Being Shot by His Own Weapon
A Brazilian man was shot to death by his own gun without anyone even pulling the trigger.
On Jan. 16, attorney Leandro Mathias de Novaes took his mother for an MRI at the Laboratorio Cura in São Paulo, according to the local outlet Folha de S.Paulo.
Mathias, a strong proponent of gun rights who talked about the legality of possessing firearms on a popular TikTok channel, was packing that day.
Although Mathias and his mother were given a standard warning to remove metal objects before entering the MRI room, according to the clinic, Novaes brought his concealed gun.
He did not have it for long.
The force of the magnet in the MRI machine pulled the gun from the waistband of his pants, causing it to fire, the report said.
Mathias was hit in the stomach. Although he was taken to São Luiz Morumbi Hospital, he died three weeks later on Feb. 6.
The laboratory said staff followed all standard protocols.
“We reinforce that all accident prevention protocols were followed by the CURA team, as is customary in all units,” a representative of the MRI clinic said in a statement, according to a CNN Brasil report translated via Google.
“Both the patient and the companion were properly instructed regarding the procedures for accessing the examination room and warned about the removal of any and all metallic objects,” the representative said. “Both signed an acknowledgment term regarding this guidance.”
The lab representative said that “despite these guidelines, the firearm was not mentioned by the companion, who entered the examination room with the object by his decision.”
Mathias, 40, is survived by a wife and daughter, according to Folha de S.Paulo.
Although rare, this type of thing has happened before.
In 2018, Frank Chester of Williston Park, New York, was shot in the legs by his own gun when he went for an MRI at a Lynbrook center, according to the Long Island Herald.
Lynbrook police said Chester told testing center workers he had no metal on him, but when he entered the MRI room, magnets from the device caused the .380 caliber gun in his pocket to fire. The bullet wounded Chester in both thighs.
He was charged with reckless endangerment.
A report in the American Journal of Roentgenology noted that in 2000, an off-duty police officer’s gun discharged even when the safety was engaged after he brought it into the MRI room.
The gun ended up being stuck to the magnetic side of the device, requiring that the machine be turned off to retrieve it.
“In this incident, the gun discharged despite the thumb safety being engaged. This has important implications in that it shows that the weapon poses a risk for discharging in an MR imaging environment even with the thumb safety engaged,” the AJR report said.
The report suggested warnings should be made about carrying metal. Although the site RadiologyInfo.org has an exhaustive list of metal items that should not be in an MRI room, a handgun is not among them.
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