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Man charged with aggravated battery in accidental shooting at Cowtown

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Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:46 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A man accused of shooting a fellow reenactor during a staged gunfight at the Old Cowtown Museum last September on Monday made his first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court. Robert Hartung is charged with aggravated battery.

Hartung told police that when he showed up to participate in the Sept. 18 historical reenactment at Cowtown, “there was not any type of formal safety briefing that he knows about and that he brought his own guns and two blanks for his shotgun.”

A court document offering insight into the accidental shooting said Hartung told police that no one checked his guns before the performance and that he loaded his .38 caliber revolver with blanks provided by organizers of the event at Cowtown.

“He said he loaded his 12 gauge Winchester shotgun with what he “assumes” are blanks that he brought with him,” the affidavit said. “He said that there was no briefing and that he was just told to ride in on the side of one of the antique cars” that was part of the setting for the performance.”

When the reenactment started, Hartung told police he rode in on the passenger side of the car, standing on the passenger sidestep.

“He said when the shooting started, he fired two shots from his shotgun, a Winchester model 97 12-gauge and then put in the backseat of the car and then fired rounds from his .38 revolver,” the affidavit said. “He said he did not know anyone was hurt (until) after the shooting stopped.”

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