It seems instructor Phillip Rushing had both a rubber stunt gun on him for demonstration purposes and a real gun. At the end of class he apparently replaced the rubber gun in his holster with the real one. That’s when some apple-polisher asked for an additional demonstration of how to fend off a knife attack even though everyone else in class probably wanted to go home.

Phillip Rushing

Rushing obliged and helpful local pastor Tom Smith stepped forward to play the role of the attacker in the fictional scenario. That’s when Rushing apparently forgot that the gun in his holster was now very real and straight up shot him.

A spokesperson for the Modesto County Police Department told the Modesto Bee that “the instructor drew the firearm and it accidentally discharged” but was unable to say whether Rushing knew he was drawing the real gun or the fake.

Pastor Tom Smith
Smith was struck in the waist above the hip and taken to a nearby hospital for surgery. According to the Beea Facebook post on the subject that has since been deleted or set to private read: “He is still in much pain but pulling through the physical therapy.”

Meanwhile, a post that’s still online from Dec 6th, the day after the shooting, reads “Pastor Tom Smith we love you and we are praying for you!” suggesting the injury was more than a minor flesh wound.


Rushing’s bio says he’s been inducted into the Police Self Defense Institute Hall of Fame and he must be wondering if that membership is now being reconsidered. It seems Rushing’s additional training as a martial arts master and presumably cat-like reflexes didn’t stop the mixup, either.

Shit happens, it’s true. But accidental bullet-wound type shit only happens when you’re playing with a gun.




Pastor Shot In Gun-Safety Class After Instructor Mixes Up Rubber Gun With Real One

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