A man accidentally shot himself and his wife during a meeting about gun safety at a Tennessee church.
The couple, who are in their 80s, were discussing gun protection at a social meeting held at the First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains when the incident occurred.
“Well, I’ve got my gun on me,” said the 81-year-old man, police say, before he pulled out his 380-calibre Ruger handgun and removed the magazine.
He put the magazine back in and put the gun away, but forgot it was loaded when a person later asked to see it.
The military veteran then pulled the trigger, with the bullet slicing his palm and penetrating his wife’s abdomen and exiting her right side.
Both were treated at hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and are reported to be in a stable condition.
“We were talking about concealed carry and protecting ourselves,” witness Ray Zillick told WATE.
Tellico Plains Police Department told residents: “It was not an active shooter situation. It was an accidentally discharged handgun.
“No other people were harmed in this accident. The schools were placed in a temporary lockdown for the students safety. This lockdown was lifted as soon as we cleared the scene.”
Police Chief Russ Parks told ABC News: “This was an accident. It was not intentional.
“It just slipped his mind that he recharged the weapon.”
The gun safety meeting was held in the wake of the Sutherland Springs mass shooting in Texas, in which 26 people were killed.