Bishop's Castle shooting tragedy a freak accident

A man shot himself dead in a freak accident while hunting wildlife in Shropshire at night, an inquest has heard.

Carl Rubisch
Carl Rubisch

Shooting enthusiast Carl Rubisch was in fields in Brockton, near Bishop's Castle, when he was fatally injured.

It is believed Mr Rubisch, 30, who worked as a quantity surveyor, could have caught the trigger of his rifle on the zipper of his boot while getting of out his friend's Land Rover, before fatally shooting himself on April 5.

He left a widow, Fay, and two young children, Callum and Phoebe.

Coroner John Ellery recorded a verdict of accidental death during an inquest yesterday in Westgate, Bridgnorth.

Speaking during the inquest, Robert Griffiths, a consultant forensic scientist, said: "I fired the firearm a number of times during testing and found the trigger pull was lighter than expected, at 500g, but not necessarily dangerous.

"I was called to examine Mr Rubisch's Wellington boot that had a zipper, which was near the top, more or less done up and sticking out at 90 degrees.

"I carried out a series of tests, rubbing the rifle up against the boot, and found it was possible for the zip to engage with the handle and fire the gun."

Mr Ellery, coroner for mid and north Shropshire, said Mr Rubisch had no worries or problems and had simply gone out hunting with his friend.

"The accident happened within moments of him getting out of the Land Rover to take a shot. What I am left with following the reconstruction is the trigger was accidentally activated by the zip.

"That explains the entry point and the path of the bullet. It's plausible and fits the evidence."

Mr Rubisch, from Wall, near Lichfield, had been out lamping – a term for hunting at night - with his friend of 11 years, Stuart Forrest, when the fatal accident happened.

Mr Forrest said he used a powerful torch after spotting a rabbit 70 to 80 yards away.

He said: "I stepped out of the vehicle and Carl went to get out.

"I then heard a shot and looked around and realised something was wrong.

"Carl was standing by the Land Rover door, he turned to look at me and let out a groaning sound. Carl then slipped and was lying on his back."

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