A 32-year-old Stettler man faces a charge of dangerous use of a firearm after a loaded rifle inadvertently went off in his pickup truck last Friday morning on Highway 590, near Elnora.
In an interview with the Stettler Independent on Friday afternoon, Sgt. Joe Sangster of the Three Hills RCMP detachment confirmed that a charge would be laid in connection with the incident, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m.
The man was alone in the truck at the time and had just made a turn and headed in the opposition direction, triggering the rifle to go off in the passenger’s side of the truck, Sgt. Sangster said.
“He was going westbound on Highway 590, but he turned back to go east again, and when doing so, the firearm slid and hit something in the vehicle and went off.
“(The bullet) went into his stomach sideways and the bullet exited through the driver’s door.”
The man was transferred to Red Deer Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Sgt. Sangster was on the scene Friday morning as the man tried to overcome an accidental shooting.
“He was coherent, but in a lot of pain,” the officer said.
“It’s not an everyday incident in our area. Most of the folks that I deal with here in our area are proficient at dealing with firearms. It’s totally avoidable. There’s hunter safety and firearm safety (education), and having a loaded firearm in a vehicle is definitely a no-no.
“Because of that, bad things happen, and this is an example of that.”
Sgt. Sangster said police acted accordingly.
“We will be charging this individual with careless use of a firearm. “
“(The timing of the charge) is dependent on his health. The priority is for him to get treated and get well, and once that’s done, we’ll (proceed). We haven’t laid the charge yet, but we’ll do so in the near future.”