A businessman has died of a heart attack after he accidentally shot a guest during celebratory gunfire at the New Year’s Eve party he was hosting in India. The man who was struck by the bullet has also succumbed to injuries.
The tragic incidents unfolded at a party organized by 67-year-old Manjunath Olekar from Shivamogga, a city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, on Dec. 31, 2022. Olekar’s son and his friends were all gathered for the party, and as part of the celebration, the businessman planned to open fire in the air.
However, while loading the double-barrel gun, Olekar accidentally fired at the victim, identified as 34-year-old Vinay, who was standing beside him. Vinay was rushed to a hospital with injuries, The Hindu reported.
Seeing Vinay in a pool of blood, Olekar collapsed and died of a heart attack.
“Following the incident, he went into shock and started gasping for breath and collapsed and died due to a heart attack,” an investigating officer told The Times of India.
Vinay, a Ph.D. scholar and a friend of Olekar’s son, died Sunday while receiving treatment for the gunshot wound.
There were reportedly around 50 guests at the party. Some friends of Olekar, who wished to remain anonymous, said the businessman had gathered his peers and celebrated New Year with gunfire several times in the past, too, according to the outlet.
Police are now investigating if Olekar had the license to keep the gun. It is illegal to use a firearm for celebratory gunfire in India. According to the country’s law, whoever uses a firearm in “a rash or negligent manner or in celebratory gunfire so as to endanger human life or personal safety of others” can be sentenced to two years.
A similar tragedy was reported in July last year when a young bride died at her wedding in Iran after being struck by a stray bullet fired by a guest amid celebratory gunfire. The victim, identified as 24-year-old Mahvash Leghaei, was shot in her head after the 36-year-old guest, identified as one of the groom’s cousins, used an unlicensed hunting rifle to fire celebratory gunshots.