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Man accidentally shoots himself and wife during 'weapons in church' discussion

11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 November 18, 2017 3:27 PM November 18, 2017 in News
Source: ABC News
Photo: ABC News

TELLICO PLAINS, Tn.- During a discussion about having weapons in places of worship, a man took out his gun in church and accidentally shot himself and his wife.

According to the Tellico Plains Police Department, members of the First United Methodist Church were gathered on Thursday afternoon for a pre-Thanksgiving lunch. Police Chief Russ Parks says the topic of carrying weapons into places of worship was brought up in the wake of a Texas church shooting that happened earlier this month.

An 81-year-old man stood up and said, "Well I take my gun everywhere." 

Police say the man then took his handgun out of his pocket, removed the magazine, cleared the weapon and handed it to other churchgoers who wanted to see it. He then took his weapon back, placed the magazine back in it, put the gun back in his holster and placed it in his pocket.

When another man came over and asked to see the weapon, the man pulled his gun back out of his pocket and accidentally hit the trigger, Parks said.

A single bullet struck the gun owner's right hand before hitting his 80-year-old wife. That bullet went through the woman's left side of her abdomen and came out of the right side of her abdomen, after which it struck her inside right forearm, then came out of her forearm and hit the wall, Parks said.

Both of their injuries were non-life-threatening. Police say no one else was injured and no charges will be filed.

"This was an accident. It was not intentional," Parks said. "It just slipped his mind that he recharged the weapon."

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