'I Blew My Arm Off,' Says Guy Who Set Off Own Booby Trap

'I've never seen anything quite like this,' says officer
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2018 10:30 AM CDT
Guy Triggers His Own Booby Trap, Gets Shot
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/aijohn784)

Reminder to self: When setting up booby traps in your home, make sure you don't accidentally set them off yourself. One North Carolina man failed to heed that advice and ended up getting shot Monday morning, the Gaston Gazette reports. Police say Edwin Smith, 68, had rigged a shotgun facing his back door. After going outside to feed squirrels around 11:30am, he opened the door and the gun fired, hitting him in the right arm. It's not clear whether he forgot about the booby trap or if the trap malfunctioned. Either way, "I've never seen anything quite like this," a captain with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office says.

"I blew my arm off," Smith can be heard saying in a 911 call obtained by WCNC. First responders, who went through the home carefully to make sure there were no other booby traps, found him severely wounded but alert, and he was transferred to a hospital in nearby Shelby. One of his neighbors says Smith "stood up for our neighborhood when drugs and bad people started moving in," and WCNC also has a photo of a large sign on Smith's property warning "crack heads, meth heads, heroin users, drug dealers," "anyone doing criminal activity," and "illegal aliens" to "stay the hell out & off this private road." (A pot farmer was done in by his own booby trap.)

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