- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The family of a slain Mississippi Gaming Commission agent is filing a claim against the state for wrongful death.

The Clarion-Ledger reported on Friday (https://on.thec-l.com/1nfRegS ) that the family of Special Agent John Gorman is filing the claim.

On Jan 21, 2015, Gorman was participating in a required weapons training exercise in Tunica, Mississippi, held by the Gaming Commission when he was killed. Gorman, 45, had been named the commission’s director of investigation the day before his death.

A news release issued by the family’s lawyer alleges that Gorman was not transported to a hospital and lay dying for an hour, even though an air ambulance was on the scene.

An attorney for the Gaming Commission could not be reached for comment.

The family’s lawyer, Hal Neilson, charged in a news release that Gorman and other exercise participants removed and secured their weapons but the class instructor, Gaming Commission Special Agent Bob Sharp, kept his live weapon holstered at his side. Neilson charged that Sharp shot Gorman during the exercise and that an investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation concluded Sharp violated “all training rules, regulations, protocols and polices.”

But Neilson declined to offer more details about the shooting.

MBI spokesman Warren Strain could not be reached for comment.

Neilson said Gorman’s wife, Summer Gorman, repeatedly asked for details of the shooting but was denied.

The legal action is a way to obtain answers and “hold responsible the Mississippi Gaming Commission for the death of John Gorman and for the total disregard for public safety of civilians and other trainees.”

The family plans to file a claim against the state, the Mississippi Gaming Commission and Tunica County.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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