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UPDATE: Friend cleaning handgun shot 22-year-old

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COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WTVR) -- Police are investigating after one man was shot in the stomach inside a Colonial Heights apartment. The gun discharged while it was being cleaned, police said.

Two men were cleaning handguns in a downstairs apartment at the English Village Apartments Tuesday night when police said one of the guns fired.

Police said the 22-year-old victim was shot by a friend as the pair were cleaning their handguns.

“When they went to disassemble it, a shot was fired,” Sgt. Rob Ruxer with Colonial Heights Police said.

A .40 caliber bullet fired from the gun struck the victim in the abdomen.

The victim, who was taken to Southside Regional Medical Center, was in stable condition at last check Wednesday evening.

For some who live at the apartment complex, they're glad the bullet didn't go through a wall and hit someone else.

"I'm not ok with it, but when you're cleaning your weapon the first thing you do is check your ammo,” said David Rowles, who lives at the apartment complex. “I mean it's common sense."

The CDC reported 606 people were killed accidentally by guns in 2010. The average age of the victims was 20.

"Unloaded guns kill people all the time because they don't check them. And they're not unloaded and that's how accidents happen," Dance's Sporting Goods’ Marlon Dance said.

Experts stressed specific steps must be taken when cleaning any semi-automatic weapon.

"If I was getting ready to clean this gun, the first thing I would do, would be… Drop the magazine, push the slide back, [and] lock it open… There's no where else for any bullets to be," said Dance.

Police said the person who fired the shot had removed the magazine from his gun. However, police said that the gun fired when the trigger was pulled.

Colonial Heights police said their investigation is ongoing. The person who pulled the trigger could face a misdemeanor or reckless use of a firearm charge.


    • Cindy

      Why don’t you refer your comments to other people and not only to me? Everyone who has commented has basically said the same thing! Stupid people do stupid things!

  • Boyd Crowder

    God save us from amateurs…you have to pass a test to drive a car, but any idiot can purchase a firearm. I am all for gun ownership, as I have a bunch. I never touched a firearm until I was in the Army though. They taught me pretty well, I think. It just amazes me that someone can buy something this dangerous without even knowing anything about it. They make you take a class now to hunt or operate a boat. How about the same for guns? At least have some proof of proficiency or knowledge.

  • Karl Childers

    I doubt they were “cleaning it”. I imagine they were goofing off, with a few beers in them…..The old “cleaning it” is a made up story to tell the cops, that is supposed to cover that you are an idiot.

  • Godlywoman2u


    • Bruce Collier

      I do feel bad for him…I’m sure he didn’t get up this morning with the thought of this happening.We’re all just saying,this is SO preventable.When you buy and own a gun,there is a certain responsibility that goes along with that.Those of us that are responsible gun owners look at someone that does this with some disrespect.If you’re stupid enough to shoot yourself unintentionally with your own gun,you’re going to have to endure the ridecule of other gun owners.

  • BO

    Someone I knew supposedly shot themselves in the face while looking at a gun.I never believed it,Hopewell,Va PD did’nt care.

  • jrcat7

    On an Untouchables episode yesterday it showed a guy trying to buy a pistol in Chicago in 1929 at a gun shop and was being told he had to have a permit for the buy.

    The frustrated buyer was about to leave when the gun shop owner said but I can sell you this without a permit and pulled out a Thompson sub-machine gun.

    They were also available in hardware stores according to the show.

  • chris

    yea hard to clean a fully assembled gun,made up to cover for something.Here is a idea,check the gun first.duh

  • Romaine Cheney

    While I choose not to call this man “stupid” as so many others have, I will say, if he doesn’t know to clean a gun AFTER removing all bullets, he shouldn’t own a gun.

  • Cousin

    This “stupid” young man is my family. You morons are commenting on something without knowing the full story. First of all he didn’t shoot himself and he didn’t have “a few beers” in him. Imagine how you all would feel if it was your family and you read all of these ridiculous judgemental comments. So what does that make you? Pretty ignorant if you ask me. Accidents happen everyday. As for the person that left the comment “thinning the herd”…screw you!

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