Man Discussing Church Shootings Accidentally Shoots Wife in Church

The bullet that entered her abdomen first struck his hand
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2017 7:32 AM CST
Man Discussing Church Shootings Accidentally Shoots Self in Church
A .380 caliber Ruger handgun is seen here.   (Wikimedia/James Case)

During a discussion of church shootings, a man announced that he took his gun everywhere, pulled it out in a room full of people, then accidentally shot himself and his wife—at church. The unidentified Tennessee man, described as in his 80s, was at a luncheon at First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains, some 60 miles south of Knoxville, around 1pm Thursday when he revealed a .380 caliber Ruger handgun, unloaded it, and showed it around the room, police tell the Knoxville News Sentinel. The man then loaded the magazine, apparently chambered a bullet, and returned the gun to its holster, police say.

But when a person approached to see weapon, the man "pulled it back out and said, 'With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it's not loaded,'" explains Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks. With the gun lying on a table, the man then pulled the trigger. The bullet hit his hand before striking the left side of his wife's abdomen, exiting on the right, Parks says. Both husband and wife were flown to a Knoxville hospital and are expected to survive. Parks says no charges will be filed. "Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon," the officer says. The New York Daily News notes area schools were initially placed on lockdown. (More Tennessee stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.