Tenn. man accidentally shoots self, wife in church while discussing church shootings

A Tennessee Man Accidentally Shot Himself During A Church Discussion About Responsible Gun Ownership Scott Olson  Getty Images News  Getty Images

"He pulled it back out and said, 'With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it's not loaded, '" Parks said.

According to the chief, someone walked up a short time later and said they hadn't gotten a chance to look at the gun and asked him to pull it back out.

Tellico Police Chief Russ Parks told The Knoxville News Sentinel that the man took out his.380 caliber Ruger handgun, after which he removed the magazine and cleared the chamber, following proper health and safety protocols when handling firearms.

He then pulled the trigger, apparently forgetting he had put a round in the chamber.

The 81-year old man took out a Ruger.38 hangun cleared it and showed it to other parishioners during an early Thanksgiving dinner on November 9 at First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains.

Another parishioner later asked to see the weapon.

The bullet hit the gun-owner in the right hand before piercing his wife's abdomen and exiting through her right forearm, ricocheting off the wall and landing by her wheelchair, according to police. Police in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, said the incident on Thursday afternoon (16 November) involved an accidentally discharged handgun, which the man was showing to other churchgoers. Both husband and wife were flown to a Knoxville hospital and are expected to survive.

"No one who was in the church is wishing to press charges and we in the police department think they've suffered enough", Parks said, according to the paper. Their injuries didn't appear to be life threatening.

"It just slipped his mind that he recharged the weapon". Parks says no charges will be filed.

Nearby schools were briefly put on lockdown during the initial investigation.

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