Officials say that a man from Deltona, Florida was admitted to the hospital on Saturday after he discovered that he was shot—three days after the fact. According to a report from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, deputies arrived at the hospital to investigate the shooting, only to find out that the man had accidentally shot himself cleaning his gun. However, possibly as a result of medication for a back injury, the man claims he did not notice the wound until he changed his shirt half a week after the accident.
“[The victim] went to the hospital after noticing he had been shot. An investigation was conducted, and the shooting was deemed accidental,” stated the report. “Case is closed.”
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the accident occurred when the man was cleaning a .22 pistol in his living room. At the time, his dog was nearby so the victim held to pistol close to his chest to prevent the animal from nudging it. When he stood up, his back spasmed unexpectedly, leading him to fall on the floor. Sometime during all of the commotion the pistol was discharged and fired a round into his arm. The victim said he heard a loud noise, but disregarded it.
Luckily for the man, the .22 bullet went through his arm without any complications and only minimal bleeding. That is perhaps why he never noticed the wound, which he told deputies had already closed up by the time he discovered it. As for the pain, the medication he was on might have masked it just enough to be ignored.
While the circumstances were highly unusual, the deputies ultimately wrote it off as a routine—yet easily avoidable—negligent discharge. Experts stress that firearms should always be unloaded when being cleaned, and that gun owners should familiarize themselves with basic gun safety. Some commenters argued that the victim should not have been handling firearms while on heavy pain medication, and others pointed to how little damage the .22 wound inflicted. The power of the humble .22 LR cartridge has long been an issue of debate, and some say this incident gives more evidence to how negligible the caliber really is.
After all, a similar injury with a .45 caliber firearm may not have been ignored for three days.