Salem Township man shoots self in leg

(ABC 6 News) – A 70-year-old man fired a bullet through his own leg during an attempt to clean a handgun Monday night.

The accident serves as a reminder to never point a firearm at oneself, another person, or anywhere the user would not like to shoot, Capt. James Schueller with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office said.

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At about 9:16 p.m., the OCSO responded to a medical call in the 5000 block of 80th Avenue SW, Salem Township.

The 70-year-old man called dispatch to tell them he shot himself in the leg.

When a deputy arrived, the man’s wife took them inside, where the man was applying pressure to a hole all the way through his left leg, entering a few inches above the knee.

The deputy applied a tourniquet, as the man’s pant leg was soaked with blood and it was beginning to pool on the ground below him.

About five minutes later, Mayo Clinic ambulance and Byron first responders arrived and took over treatment.

The man told the deputy he thought he had unloaded a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun in order to clean it, but had not realized there was a bullet in the chamber.

When he pulled the slide back, the gun went off.

Schueller added that aside from pointing a gun only in directions the user feels safe firing the weapon, it is important to know guns well and understand how they can be safely and completely unloaded.