Originally Published: October 19, 2015 8:30 a.m.
TOMBSTONE, Arizona - An actor staging a historical gunfight in the Old West town of Tombstone was shot with a live round during a show that was supposed to use blanks, leading officials to call for the re-enactments popular with tourists to be put on hold.
The shooting happened Sunday afternoon, Oct. 18, as two performers from the Tombstone Vigilante group re-enacted a gunfight in the 19th century mining town made famous by Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the O.K. Corral. A bystander also was hurt but declined medical treatment.
One of the actor's guns fired live rounds, hitting a fellow member of the group, the Tombstone Marshal's Office said. Ken Curtis fell to the ground and was flown to a hospital in Tucson, where he underwent surgery to remove the bullet.
Curtis was listed in good condition Monday at Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson, hospital spokeswoman Elyse Palm said. She declined to give further details about his injuries.
At least two bullets struck nearby businesses, hurting a bystander, the Tombstone Marshal's Office said Sunday. The woman was not seriously injured, marshal's dispatcher Dee Jackson said Monday.
Authorities inspected the weapon and found one live round and five casings that indicated the gun was filled with live rounds prior to the skit, the marshal said.
Tombstone authorities called the shooting unprecedented. The marshal's office says Mayor Dusty Escapule advised the Tombstone Vigilante group to suspend gunfight skits as the investigation plays out.
"Tombstone takes pride in the safety and security of its townspeople and tourists alike, and the citizens of Tombstone can be assured that stringent safety protocol will be enforced prior to allowing any further gunfight skits," the marshal said in a statement.
Tombstone, about three hours southeast of Phoenix, was once a bustling mining town in the 1800s that now has about 1,500 residents and mostly caters to visitors who come to see gunfight re-enactments and historical sites.
The Tombstone Vigilantes were formed in 1946 and are dedicated to preserving and passing along Tombstone's history to tourists who visit the town near the U.S.-Mexico border. The group also performs mock hangings where unsuspecting victims are tried and convicted by the Tombstone Vigilantes.
A message seeking more information about the shooting was not immediately returned.