Sad day at Chabot Gun Club


Guy B. Meredith
August 8, 2006, 08:38 PM
If the scenario is as stated, this person broke the club rules and a fine safety record. Very sad all around.

Castro Valley man apparently killed himself while cleaning gun
- Matthai Chakko Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

(08-08) 15:37 PDT CASTRO VALLEY -- A Castro Valley man who appears to have accidentally killed himself Monday while cleaning his gun at his local gun club was identified today as 80-year-old Harry Bartolomei.

According to a statement by East Bay Regional Park District police, Bartolomei was cleaning his .45-caliber pistol in the parking lot of the Chabot Gun Club when it apparently discharged and killed him. Police received the report at 3:17 p.m.

Bartolomei was found in the parking lot of the gun club lying behind his truck with a single gunshot wound to the head. Because of evidence found at the scene, authorities believe he was cleaning the weapon at the time of the accidental shooting.

E-mail Matthai Chakko Kuruvila at


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August 8, 2006, 09:04 PM
My condolences on his loss - it sounds truely tragic.

Guy - are there any further details? I'm assuming the short report was written by a non-gun person.

Guy B. Meredith
August 8, 2006, 09:14 PM
No more details. I expect the SF Chronicle will expand the article as details become avaialble.

I am not up to being a nuisance to the Chabot Gun Club crew just yet to ask details. They would take this very hard, I think.

August 8, 2006, 09:19 PM
Thank you Guy.

Yes, I think it would be hard on the club.

I have to admit I'm more than a bit interested in the "wound to the head" and cleaning portions of the short announcement. While it seems a little odd at first glance I'm hoping details might help others be safer.

Guy B. Meredith
August 8, 2006, 09:26 PM
Yeah, the head injury always sets off alarms for me. I don't know whether I'd recognize the gentleman by sight, but I don't know the name. Most of the over 75 crowd I know tend to stick to blackpowder arms.

August 8, 2006, 09:36 PM
This is sad & terrible news. I quite enjoy Chabot GC, it's always been a very well run establishment, and safe. I hope this won't affect the long-term availability of Chabot to all of us who live in the area.

August 8, 2006, 09:39 PM
I hate to say it, but GSW to the head from "cleaning the gun" usually means suicide. Not always, but usually.



Harley Quinn
August 8, 2006, 09:46 PM
If the man was a member and killed himself, he will be remembered.
My heart goes out to them (other members and his close friends and family).

I like the smilies here, but this is not the time or place for them.


4v50 Gary
August 8, 2006, 10:53 PM
Concur with Coronach. Sounds like suicide to me too.

August 8, 2006, 11:54 PM
a suicide to us because we know better then to ever point a gun at our selves.

He may have had a "senior momement" if it was suicide I'm angry he picked a shooting range.

August 9, 2006, 12:05 AM
Not to hijack the thread, but I agree wholeheartedly with gunsmith. My shootin' pard & I just lost a lady friend of ours to lung cancer and he's said a couple of times that if he were ever in her position, he'd die of lead poisoning first. Not to be morbid, but I've told him that if he ever reached that decision, I'd expect him to simply go to sleep permanently and to not stain and dishonor all other gunowners that way.

Either way, my heart goes out to the elder gentleman's family.


August 9, 2006, 12:24 AM
My condolences to the family and the club.

Hopefully it was just a very unfortunate accident. I know the only time I ever have a barrel pointed at my head is when it's been removed from the gun and I am inspecting it for cleanliness. Even then I have a well engrained aversion to looking into the business end of it.

when it apparently dischargedStatements like this make me cringe. Gives those less educated about how guns work the impression that a gun can fire all by itself. Maybe that's the point of a statement like that, I don't know.

August 9, 2006, 02:46 AM
If you ever get older Officers (mostly retired by now) comfortable with you they will relate stories where they had to hunt for over 10 minutes to FIND the "gun cleaning equipment" in situations like this (sounds) like.
Unless there is a note they wanted to spare the family/others.

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