Jesse Evans, Editor | Hempstead Herald

A Hope man was flown to the hospital after he was apparently shot accidentally by his girlfriend last night.

The shooting occurred close to midnight at 214 East Greenwood St in Hope. According to Angela Fulton, she was sitting on the couch next to her boyfriend, Jerrold Merrick, while he laid on the couch when the shooting occurred. Fulton said she was handling one of Merrick’s pistols, a Ruger .380, when it went off, striking Merrick in lower body. Fulton said she was surprised because Merrick has never kept ammo in his guns around the house and she thought the gun was unloaded at the time. The shot surprised Merrick too. Fulton said that when the pistol fired Merrick jumped up and asked her what she did and if he was shot. She said she immediately went to turn the light on and that’s when they realized he was shot.

Fulton called 911 and told the dispatcher that her boyfriend was shot and she was the one who shot him.

Hope Police Officers and Pafford EMS were dispatched to the residence. Police arrived and made contact with Fulton and Merrick and made sure the scene was secure before Pafford came into the house to assess Merrick. Merrick was carried out of the house by the medical crew and police in a sheet to a stretcher in the driveway outside. Awake, alert and apparently calm, Merrick was then taken to the ambulance where initial emergency treatment was administered. The crew requested air medical for him. LifeNet out of Hot Springs accepted the call and Pafford transported Merrick to meet the helicopter at “Emergency Circle”, the cul-de-sac on Commerce Blvd across from Big Jake’s BBQ.

Two of the police officers went with Pafford to secure the landing zone. Another stayed behind with Fulton and her family at the residence and met Investigator Zimmer when he arrived on scene. Zimmer investigated the scene and interviewed Fulton. No arrest was made.

When the helicopter arrived on scene, the flight medical crew joined Pafford on the ambulance and prepared Merrick for his flight to UAMS. They were skids up with him en route to Little Rock at  1 a.m.

We do not currently have information on Merrick’s status.

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