An elderly man accidentally shot himself and his wife in church Thursday while showing his gun during a discussion about church shootings.
Elders of the First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains, Tenn. were discussing recent church shootings after a Thanksgiving luncheon Thursday, but the conversation turned bloody when one member asked to see another elder’s .380 caliber Ruger handgun, according to the Associated Press.
Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks told Knox News that the man, who is in his 80s, pulled out the gun, removed the magazine, and cleared the chamber to show the gun to his fellow church members, but placed the magazine back in when he re-holstered the weapon and laid it on a table. The man pulled the trigger when grabbing the weapon off of the table to show another member who asked to see it. (RELATED: US Pastors Welcome Gun-Toting Parishioners)
“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.’ Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon.”
The bullet sliced the palm of his upturned hand, entered the left side of his wife’s stomach, and exited the right side. The couple was airlifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center. Tellico Plains police said the injuries did not appear to be fatal and that no charges will be filed. The names of the elderly couple have not been released.
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