Man Accidentally Shoots Himself And Wife In Church While Discussing Church Shootings

It is unclear whether he misread the gun's indicator or if it malfunctioned.

Church Tennessee

UMCFirst United Methodist Church of Tellico Plains, Tennessee.

A man in an East Tennessee accidentally shot himself and his wife while talking about the dangers of church shootings.

The Knox News reported that this Thursday, an elder member of the First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains, Tenn. shot himself and his wife when discussing how he would use his gun to protect himself in a church shooting.

The man, who is in his 80s, was talking to other church elders while cleaning up after a Thanksgiving luncheon held at the church earlier that day when the conversation made its way to the topic of the recent spate of church shootings.

According to Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks, it was then that the man, whose name has not been released, pulled out a .380 caliber Ruger handgun and said, “I carry my handgun everywhere.”

He removed the magazine, and cleared the chamber of the pistol, before showing the gun to some of the men at the church.

He then placed the magazine back into the gun and returned the pistol to its holster. It was at this point that he must have accidentally cocked back the gun, placing a new round in the chamber.

“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.’ ”

It is unclear whether he misread the indicator or if it malfunctioned, but either way, the man was convinced the chamber was not loaded.

The man then pulled the trigger on the gun, which was lying on a table, firing the chambered round across his palm and through his wife’s abdomen.

“Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon,” Parks said.

Both the husband and wife, who is also in her 80s, were flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Police say their injuries didn’t appear to be life-threatening.

No charges will be filed against the man.


Next, learn how a new study shows how mass shootings lead to spikes in gun sales. Then read how the Alabama senate passed legislation allowing church to form independent police force.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe is a New York City-based writer and an Editorial Intern at All That Is Interesting.
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