After being charged with recklessly endangering another person from an incident that occurred on May 25, Matthew Holmes, 38 of Honesdale, came forward to share his side of the story.
On the night of May 25 the shooting occurred on 11th Street where Holmes' 15-year-old girl was shot in the face.
An affidavit of probable cause filed by Detective Sean LeStrange of the Honesdale Borough Police Department, stated that Holmes was visiting friends with his 15-year-old daughter on 11th Street. Holmes was seated at a kitchen table and removed his 9 mm semi-automatic handgun from his holster and removed a live round from the chamber of the weapon.
It goes on to say that he set it on top of the kitchen table. While Holmes was still handling the weapon it went off and struck his daughter in the face.
Another guest at the residence called 911 and the minor was flown to the CMC Hospital Trauma Unit in Scranton.
The 15-year-old girl is in stable condition.
“We had just gotten done with washing the clothes when we found out a friend got arrested,” Holmes stated, starting at the very beginning.
He said that the friend he and his daughter were visiting was a “mutual friend” of the person who was arrested. He said he was going to tell his friend what he had heard.
“I was sitting in a really low chair and my gun was starting to hurt my side, so I took it out,” Holmes stated. “I pulled back the chamber to release the bullet and pulled the clip, then it fired up and hit my daughter.”
He said he “didn't see” another bullet go into the chamber and that he “thought it was empty.”
“It was an honest mistake,” Holmes said. “I didn't know the other bullet was there. If the clip was pulled first this wouldn't have happened.”
He added that if someone really wanted to hurt someone, they “wouldn't go to take the gun apart.”
“I freaked out and rushed to my daughter's side immediately,” Holmes stated. “I was holding her by the neck to hold the blood back. I was yelling for someone to call the police. The whole time I was telling her to look at me and kept her focused.”
When the bullet hit his daughter, it hit her chin and exited the back of her cheek. It never hit the top of her face and her jaw didn't break.
He said that when police arrived, his daughter was “standing the whole time” and that she “remained conscious” throughout the entire ordeal.
Page 2 of 2 - “I tried to explain to police that it was an accident,” Holmes said. “I admit it was a mistake taking the gun apart in front of them. I made a bad decision at the wrong time. I love my daughter to death.”
He said it was “a miracle” and thanks God his daughter is alive.
“I hate that it happened,” Holmes stated. “It wasn't supposed to happen. If she had died I couldn't live without her.”
He said that because of this incident he “doesn't want” any weapons in his house and adds that if he ever had them again, it would be when his daughter “wasn't living in the house” with him.
“I'm blessed that I'm not burying my daughter,” Holmes said. “She's here and I get to be her parent and see her grow up and meet her goals. I get to see her get married. I support her 100 percent. We will stand as a family and we will be stronger than before.”
He said that people have their opinions, “but they don't know me.”
“Don't pass judgement when you don't know me,” Holmes stated. “Anyone who says I did this out of spite is lying. Find the facts out first. Let ignorance be bliss. I love my daughter to death. My heart was broken when this happened.”
Holmes added he has “nothing to hide” and said his daughter is his princess.
“She will make a speedy recovery,” he said.
So what has Holmes learned through this?
“Always be safe with weapons,” he said. “Be fully trained and don't have weapons around your kids. Something can happen in a matter of seconds. They're very dangerous.”
He adds that he's a believer in “guns don't kill people, people do.”
“I want to thank everyone for their support,” Holmes stated. “Thanks especially to the Wayne Highlands School, my friend Laurel, Brooks Estadt from State Farm and my Facebook friends.”
On Wednesday morning in Wayne County Central Court, Holmes waived his preliminary hearing.