The guest who allegedly "accidentally" fired the gun in his pants while at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for a wedding was arrested—as was his brother. Vladimir Gotlibovsky fired one bullet into the floor; the ricocheting bullet then grazed one wedding guest in the forehead, caused fragment wounds to two other guests, and also injured a fourth.
The incident occurred on Saturday night at approximately 7:30 p.m. Police say Vladimir Gotlibovsky, 42, had a "9mm Ruger in his right front pants pocket when it discharged striking the floor." He was charged with reckless endangerment, assault with criminal negligence and tampering with physical evidence, and his brother Felix Gotlibovsky, 51, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence because he ended up taking the gun away. And then Felix reportedly handed the gun off again. From the Post:
After his gun went off, Vladimir allegedly handed the 9mm Ruger to Felix, who then gave it to their mother, law-enforcement sources said. She put it in her purse, then gave it to Vladimir’s wife, Maya, who brought it back to their Mill Basin home, sources added...
Vladimir had a carry permit that allowed him to bring the gun to residences and businesses and carried it for protection because he owns a liquor shop in The Bronx, law-enforcement sources said... Investigators were also considering charges for the wife and mother for helping to bring the gun back to Brooklyn.
At this point, the Manhattan DA's office has "deferred" charges; Vladimir Gotlibovsky's lawyer Arthur Gershfeld said, "The evidence doesn’t support the crime and therefore the DA’s office made the appropriate decision" while a source said, "Complicated circumstances are being fully investigated in order to determine what charges would be appropriate."
Gershfield insisted to the Daily News that there was no recklessness, but a business acquaintance said Vladimir Gotlibovsky "frequently brings a gun to social gatherings, and usually drinks too much. 'Always, when he’s attending parties, he has a little gun in his pocket,' said Michael Rakhnyansky. 'And he gets really drunk, and his mom yells at him.'"
As for the newlyweds, the Post reports that the bride had no idea what happened—until after she exchanged vows:
Anna Goldshmidt was in her suite, preparing for her nuptials, when the accidental shooting occurred during a pre-wedding cocktail hour in the hotel’s lobby Saturday evening, sources told The Post.
Thanks to a veil of secrecy constructed by family and friends, Goldshmidt — decked out in a jewel-encrusted headpiece — remained in the dark until after the traditional Jewish ceremony, which included the breaking of a glass followed by a passionate kiss as hundreds of guests cheered.
Goldshmidt learned of the gunplay only when the hotel cited it as the reason it was canceling her reception, leaving her “hysterical,’’ a law-enforcement source said.
She let out a “blood-curdling” scream, the source said.
A worker at the Waldorf said a wedding there "goes for at least a million dollars."