Gun Blast Shatters Lincoln Newlyweds' 'Perfect' Life


Staff member
After the shotgun blast, Alaina Beasley screamed, fell to the apartment floor and cried to the shooter — her husband of three months — to call 911.

Alaina H. Beasley was shot Saturday night around 9:15 with a shotgun handled by her husband, Joshua M. Beasley, 21.
And then, in what were her final words to Josh Beasley, Alaina Beasley said, "I love you."

That's when the red-haired 20-year-old lost consciousness. Her 21-year-old husband frantically looked for their phone, did as his wife had instructed and called for help.

Then he grabbed a towel and pressed it to Alaina Beasley's bleeding right shoulder.

That is the account Josh Beasley tearfully gave in the hours following his wife's death in Lincoln early Sunday.

The two had spent the sunny, warm Saturday afternoon skeet shooting at targets near Pawnee Lake, a state recreation area about 12 miles west of downtown Lincoln.

They were using Josh's shotgun and two other shotguns brought by Ron Moore, Alaina's father. Skeet shooting was a family affair that day as Alaina's parents and two younger siblings joined her and her husband.

They took aim at the clay disks for about an hour.

Although new to shooting, Alaina Beasley could hit her mark and had proof at home: a paper target she kept from a previous effort, showing the accuracy of her eye and trigger finger.

After an hour outdoors shooting skeet, the whole family trouped to Lincoln for a brief tour of the capital city, a sandwich lunch and a visit.

It had been a perfect Saturday.

Until 9:14 p.m.

That's when the forgotten shell burst from the pump-action shotgun, flying six feet inside their Lincoln apartment before it hit an unintended target: Alaina.

Alaina Beasley would have turned 21 on Friday.

She had met Josh Beasley three years ago at a basketball practice for home-schooled students, and the two had hit it off.

They attended Iowa Western Community College together. Josh Beasley studied aircraft maintenance and Alaina Beasley took classes on sports medicine.

Josh had asked Alaina's father for permission to marry her, and the two were wed Nov. 1 at Grace Baptist Church in Papillion. They honeymooned in the Caribbean.

The newlyweds did everything together: played racquetball, enjoyed swing dancing, rode their motorcycle, pedaled their tandem bicycle, shot skeet.

Josh Beasley, who completed a gun safety course last week, was cleaning his shotgun Saturday night at their home at 6230 N.W. Second Circle, not realizing the gun still held one shell.

Soon after his 911 call, emergency crews arrived and began giving first aid to his wife.

Alaina Beasley was rushed to BryanLGH Medical Center West. Josh Beasley was taken to the police department.

There were questions. A statement. Papers to sign to let authorities search their apartment.

Finally, police released him, and Josh Beasley went to the hospital.

There, he learned that pellets from the shotgun shell had pierced his wife's aorta, and doctors had to remove part of her right lung.

After 1 a.m. Sunday, Alaina's blood pressure was dropping. Doctors fought to keep her condition stable, but could not.

Josh Beasley stood at his wife's side and was holding her hand when she died, at 1:06 a.m.

Later on Sunday, Beasley and his family gathered at the Papillion home of his in-laws. In a voice often broken by sobs, Beasley recounted in agony the past day.

"I love her," he said. "Everything was just as perfect as I ever hoped it could be."

Lincoln police gave few details Sunday about the incident except to classify Alaina Beasley's death as accidental.

Police Capt. Jim Thoms said the investigation was continuing.

But Moore, Alaina's father, harbored no blame for her husband.

"We don't understand it," he said, "but we know God has a plan."

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I'll be the first to reply, and with an obvious thought that we all are thinking - The guy messed up in a big, unimaginable, horrific and undeniably stupid way.

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