What happened to Joseph Smith? Kansas City man fatally shot by a dog in tragic hunting incident  

The 30-year-old was fatally shot in the back when a dog stepped on a rifle, (Image via Kto umarł?/Twitter)
The 30-year-old was fatally shot in the back when a dog stepped on a rifle, (Image via Kto umarł?/Twitter)

30-year-old Wichita resident Joseph Smith died after being shot when a dog stepped on a rifle. The tragic incident took place on Saturday at around 9.47 pm local time. According to the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, Smith was shot while sitting in the front passenger seat.

Upon arrival, officers administered CPR on Joseph Smith, however, unable to save him. The dog reportedly belonged to the truck’s owner. Authorities have not yet discovered whether anyone else was in the truck during the incident.

The identity of the victim was made available on Tuesday. Smith’s friends recognized him as a “loving goofball.” The New York Post reported that the bullet hit Joseph in the back and he allegedly died instantly.

A GoFundMe campaign has also been launched to help Joseph Smith’s family grieve without having to worry about the financial burden. It has already raised more than $9,000.

Responding officers administered CPR on Smith but couldn't save him, (Image via Facebook)
Responding officers administered CPR on Smith but couldn't save him, (Image via Facebook)

Wichita plumber Joseph Smith was shot in the back after a dog stepped on a rifle

At around 9.47 am on Saturday, authorities responded to a 911 call from Sumner County between Belle Plaine and Udall about a man being shot. They discovered that Joseph Smith was on the front passenger trip of a pickup truck. The officers administered CPR; however, he died. Smith was allegedly on a hunting trip that weekend.

The dog in the truck’s back seat accidentally stepped on a rifle and fired a shot. The bullet struck Smith in the back and killed him. It is unclear if anyone else was present in the vehicle at the time. The truck belonged to a friend of Smith's.

Joseph Smith worked as a plumber at Wichita’s Browns Plumbing Services. It is not yet clear whether the dog belonged to Joseph or the truck owner. While The Wichita Eagle reported that it belonged to the truck owner, the New York Post reported that police have not confirmed it.

After the unfortunate tragedy, the dog's whereabouts are still unknown. Authorities and Joseph Smith's workplace have not provided any other information about the incident. The company Smith worked for, Browns Plumbing Services, has launched a GoFundMe campaign. It aims at raising the amount of $20,000 and has already gathered more than $9,000. According to the post:

“Joe is absolutely the most unique individual I have had the pleasure of meeting. He was loved by all of us from all walks of life and loved the same. He made us laugh every morning whether it was at him or because of him. He always made sure to be a positive light at my company.”

It further stated:

“We will forever feel so blessed to have him [Joseph Smith] in our lives for just a short time. We'll never forget you, Joe.”

Similar incidents have happened quite a few times over recent years

The Sheriff’s Office released a statement regarding the tragic demise of Joseph Smith near Geuda Springs. It reads:

“A canine belonging to the owner of the pickup stepped on the rifle causing the weapon to discharge. The fired round struck the passenger who died of his injuries on scene.”

Joseph’s friend Jessica has described the 30-year-old to be “kind, funny, smart, and very loving.” She also mentioned that Joe was a great employee and friend. Jessica added that Joseph himself owned a dog. She continued:

“Either from being a goofball or just his natural presence making everything better. It wasn't hard to love Joe because he always made you feel like you were one of a kind and never left a conversation without letting you know that he loved you.”
Smith wasn't just a plumber, but also a musician, (Image via GoFundMe)
Smith wasn't just a plumber, but also a musician, (Image via GoFundMe)

In addition to being a plumber, Smith was also shown in photos playing music and loving dogs. The GoFundMe post describes him as a lovable human being. Chris Brown, the owner of the company where Smith worked, stated that he was a “unique” individual.

According to CBS News, several similar incidents have occurred in recent years. Ozgur Gevrekoglu, aged 32, lost his life in 2022 after his dog unintentionally touched a shotgun and set it off. Similar instances happened in north-central Iowa and New Mexico in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Joseph Smith's case is currently under investigation by the police.

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Edited by Dev Sharma