Gardnerville man hurt after pistol accidentally discharges
A 19-year-old Gardnerville man was injured Monday when his father discharged a .22-caliber handgun and the bullet passed through a wall, across the hallway, through a bathroom door and struck the victim in the abdomen.
Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said the victim, Patrick Eshelman, was taken by Care Flight to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno and was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.
Mezzetta said the father, Wallace Eshelman, had not been charged but the case was referred to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office for review.
The incident occurred about 6:15 p.m. at Eshelmans’ home in the 1400 block of James Road.
Mezzetta said Wallace Eshelman removed the magazine from the gun and, believing the weapon to be unloaded, aimed at an interior wall and pulled the trigger.
“This near tragedy highlights the need to treat weapons at all times as if they were loaded,” Mezzetta said. “When clearing a weapon for cleaning or other purposes, the weapon should be pointed down toward the ground.”
He said when handling semiautomoatic weapons, remove the magazine, check the chamber to ensure no ammunition remains, and check the chamber again.
“Even after thoroughly inspecting the weapon, never point the weapon at anyone or anything other than straight down toward the ground. And, weapons should never be left out in the open or accessible by others – especially children – when left unattended by the owner,” Mezzetta said.
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