A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another One

Caitlin Trask and Darren Mackie
Sailor says he didn’t know gun was loaded

The Associated Press
Wednesday Feb 18, 2009 9:56:45 EST

Milwaukee — A Wisconsin sailor told police in Virginia he didn’t realize his gun was loaded when he pointed it at his girlfriend’s head and pulled the trigger, killing the woman. Darren Mackie is charged with second-degree murder in the death of fellow Navy sailor, 20-year-old Caitlin Trask.

A report in the Newport News Daily Press says the 22-year-old Mackie, from Chippewa Falls, told investigators he was playing with his gun at his Navy apartment in Newport News, Va. Thursday, walked up behind Trask, pointed the weapon at her head and pulled the trigger. A criminal complaint says Mackie then called 911.

Mackie is stationed aboard the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge. Trask, of North Andover, Mass., was stationed on the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Darren W. Mackie is charged with second degree murder in the death of his once live-in girlfriend, Caitlin E. Trask. "Mr. Mackie advised that he was playing with his firearm and walked up behind the victim and pointed the weapon at her head and pulled the trigger," Police Detective J.T. Williams wrote in a criminal complaint on file in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. "He further stated that he did not know the gun was loaded." The complaint went on to say that Mackie then called 911. IT3 Trask was found shot once in the head. She was deceased. Newport News police have charged Airman Darren Mackie with murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Darren Mackie is being held without bond.

"It was just a terrible accident and she was only 20 years old," said Mary Trask of Haverhill, the mother of Caitlin Trask.

No. It was not an accident, It was stupidity. Caitlin Trask died because her boyfriend was an idiot. Don't point a gun at something you do not wish to destroy.

If you think a gun is unloaded, you don't know it's unloaded. OPEN THE CHAMBER and verify it. If you don't know how to open the chamber, then put the damned gun down and step away.

If the gun is truly unloaded, then STILL don't point it at your girlfriend and pull the trigger. If you do, you are an idiot, and you should not be allowed to breed. Instead you should be behind bars where you cannot infect the human race with your own special brand of chronic cerebal vaccuum.

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OpenID reflectoscope said...

Senseless waste of human life. (This applies to both of them)


7:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...


So if this happened in a Navy apartment, what's going to happen to the idiot from a service standpoint? Does the military wait until the civilian criminal process runs its course? I'd assume, when found guilty, he'd be dishonorably discharged.

Mike Harbour
Helena, MT

9:12 AM  
Anonymous ChiefMinion said...

This breaks my heart. I would have thought that our young men and women in the armed forces would know better. After all, their business is the delivery of lethal force.

What do we (the responsible gun community) do? How do we stop these types of incidents? How do we stop this senseless waste?

I am a tyrant on safety. I send people off for training. I try to practice responsible ownership at all times. But there has to be something more. I just can't put my finger on it.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous HankH said...

Amen to that brother! You can't fix stupid.......

10:12 AM  
Blogger Weetabix said...

I've always preferred Rule One be stated:

Treat every gun as if it were loaded.

rather than:

Every gun is always loaded.

The first statement doesn't conflict with your occasional knowledge that the gun is unloaded.

It also helps keep Rule 2 uppermost in your mind.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Cliff Smith said...

Negligent no, irresponcible yes, criminal probably.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Jordan said...

Another article that makes me hang my head in disgust...GAH!

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Brad_in_MA said...

Looks to me like these two sailors didn't listen very well to their respective Chiefs. Sad . . . so many lives impacted by a few seconds of abject stupidity.

2:18 PM  
Blogger The Raving Prophet said...

Bloody hell, what is the matter with these idiots?

I can't imagine ever, EVER, pointing a gun at my wife and pulling the trigger. Even if I KNOW it's unloaded. Even if the firing pin is in the other room. NOT EVER. It's disrespectful, it is not a loving thing to do.

These people are morons and deserve every last moment of prison time they receive.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Tmagnum62 said...

It is just hard to believe that someone, but especially some one in the armed services would do that. My father absolutely DRILLED firearms safety into our heads from the time we were very young... I can't get over the ignorance

7:48 PM  
Blogger Geoffrey said...

Why the hell is it so hard for people to understand, you don't point a bloody gun at someone unless you're prepared to kill them?! Ever.


9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"charged Airman Darren Mackie with murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony".

Sounds to me as if there's more to this than meets the eye.
Then again I'm no lawyer.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Ernest T. Bass said...

Lots of words I could say about this one but I think all of you know what they would be so I'll waste no more space. Well...what the heck, I'll let one loose. IDIOT

12:01 AM  
Anonymous susan b said...

Very very sad. She deserved better.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

I train shooters. I train them to be safe, rather than to be accurate or quick, or competitive.

I put as much effort and "Rule One" into the training session as I possibly can.

Yet I have had a student pull a gun out of her gun-bag at the safety table and point it at my belly ... after >four hours of intensive training.

She was embarrassed when she realized what she had done. She has never come back again.

Good solution, I think.


Yet this sailor boy killed his woman, for no reason other than that he is a complete waste of oxygen.

There is no limit to the stupidity of which man (and woman) are capable. For a moment's inattention, a person can die.

How do we get this lesson to stick in the minds of our students?

I don't have an answer, except that this young man should rightfully pay the ultimate price.

It's not justice, and it's not vengeance.

It's just ... cleansing the Gene Pool.

I am unutterably disgusted. It's enough to make me want to hang up my guns and just say NO to the next person who wants me to teach them how to shoot safely.

With some people, it's just and impossible task

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Erik said...

I dont think I have ever heard of a case like this in this country that turned out to be an actual accident. There have been a few cases where the boyfriend/husband was "sitting at the table cleaning the gun and it went off", but when that story was checked closer it always turned out that the gun at the time had been held upright 5feet above the ground, and the gf/wife was about to leave him. Or something like that.

The only gun accidents I've heard of here are hunting accidents, someone see what they think is a moose and fires away. But I'm hard pressed to call those accidents either.

Ofcourse I have no idea of knowing what happened in this case.

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lesson here is not to judge this individual, but to realize that these kinds of things could happen to any of us. We get tired, distracted, cranky. One misstep turns into a string, and pretty soon we're looking at an AD.

I don't judge this guy. I feel awful for him, and use his experience as a potent reminder that I need to be very, very careful when handling firearms.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Ben M said...

Are you out of your mind?

The SOB thought his gun was not loaded, so he put it to his girlfriend's head and pulled the trigger.

He killed her.

That was no accident, and it will NOT happen to me because I will NOT put a gun to my girlfriends head and pull the trigger. Ever.

He KILLED her. The gun didn't "just go off." He wasn't "cleaning it." He put it to her head, put his finger on the trigger and then pulled the trigger.

He is an idiot, and she was not much better for having anything at all to do with such a childish boy.

5:55 AM  
Blogger Tam said...

Yet another person who was obviously competing in a "How Many Of The Four Rules Can You Break At Once?" contest.

Apparently all four, in this case.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an ex Navy man I can tell you that it is very possible that he had zero firearms training.
If his rating does not involve small arms he is not required to qualify with them, and may not have even handled them in boot camp.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Jessica M said...

i feel really bad for Caitlin's family. although i never met her, i know her brother and i met her parents and i know A LOT of people who are close to her. this just saddens me beyond belief. i'm actually dating her ex right now. she was his first g/f and first love. i found out before him and had to inform him. he's really hurt by it. i personally believe there's more to the story. i think that this was an act of jealousy or something to do with their relationship. i just don't buy that it was an accident, don't people in the armed forces train you how to properly use a gun? i feel sorry for the family.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous cranky said...

Just because someone says it was "an accident," doesn't mean it really was.

The only other witness is dead.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Rick "9mm" Ector said...

It is difficult for me to fathom that a member of our military could be so cavelier with a firearm. For one, a gun should always be handled as if it is loaded. It should be checked and verified every time you pick it up. Further, he should have known that you don't play with firearms, let alone point them at other people. If it was an accident - tough. He really should've known better.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

sounds to me as if this was deliberate, rather than an "accident".

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

The lesson here is not to judge this individual, but to realize that these kinds of things could happen to any of us. We get tired, distracted, cranky. One misstep turns into a string, and pretty soon we're looking at an AD.

Anonymous, if even when you are distracted, tired, cranky you do something like this, you don't need to be a gun owner. You never, EVER point a weapon at someone unless your life is in danger. Period. They are not toys, anymore than a fast car is. Both require responsibility before they can be used safely. This guy apparently does not have it.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Jay G said...

Count me firmly in the camp that says this was no accident.

Sorry. Ain't buyin' it.

For this to not be murder, this dude would have to be the dumbest piece of dogs**t on the planet.

Pointed the gun at her head and pulled the trigger???

When I dry fire, I make sure that the firearm I am using is not only loaded with snap caps but also pointed at a safe area - typically an outside wall aiming down (into the ground).

I would be more likely to stick my naughty bits in a working blender than to pull the trigger of a gun pointed at a loved one. Wait, strike that, to even point a gun at a loved one.

I have a feeling this will be found out to be a jealous boyfriend's last act to keep her from leaving or somesuch...

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of the recent rash of these senseless, easily prevented killings ( I refuse to call them accidents). While I oppose government mandated training, I find it hard to image not wanting to learn more about how to properly use your tools!

My mom was at the funeral; she didn't really know the family but they attended her church.


11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notice the Navy Rifle Expert ribbon (with device for multiple awards), bottom row, middle. The spot where the pistol ribbon would be (outboard of the rifle ribbon) is out of frame, so we can't be positive about that, but my hunch is he had one. In any case, we can't say he had no firearm training, with that rifle ribbon being there.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he did have gun training!! he was a trained sharp-shooter!!

11:10 AM  

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