Following the mass shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, it was only natural that church communities around the country would gather to discuss the massacre and larger issues at hand. Since America is a country with nearly one gun for every citizen, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that someone would be shot at their church while attending a meeting about church shootings.
According to police, that’s exactly what happened in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. A man accidentally shot himself (with a bullet grazing one hand) and his wife (who was shot in the abdomen by the same bullet) at First United Methodist Church after a luncheon discussion turned to the subject of guns in churches. Police Chief Russ Parks described an ironic scene that could have easily gone much further south:
A man in his 80s pulled out a .380 caliber Ruger handgun and said, “I carry my handgun everywhere,” according to Parks.
He removed the magazine, cleared the chamber, and showed the gun to some of the men in the church. He put the magazine back in, apparently loaded a round in the chamber, and returned the gun to its holster, Parks said.
“Somebody else walked up and said, ‘Can I see it?'” Parks said. “He pulled it back out and said, ‘With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded.'” He pulled the trigger. “Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon,” Parks said..
Since the accidental shooting occurred during a weekday afternoon, a nearby school was put on lockdown over fears of an active shooter situation.
The two, who are both in their 80s, were flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, and Chief Parks said no charges would be filed.
(Via USA Today)