Accidental shooting wounds two men

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An accidental shooting endangered a child and spoiled Christmas for two Marshall County men last week.

Marshall County Sheriff's Department Deputy Matt Owens was dispatched to an address on Raylee Drive, Chapel Hill, just after 1 a.m. Dec. 24.

The homeowner, Mitchell West, told Owens he and his friend Nolan Garcia had been wrestling, and "once they began to struggle with the weapon it discharged and struck Nolan in the lower abdomen and exited through the lower back," Owens wrote in his report.

The same round struck West "in the upper buttocks," according to the report. West told the deputy that Garcia must have replaced the magazine of "snap caps or dummy rounds" with live ammunition without telling him.

According to Owens' report, West said he and Garcia and been drinking since 10 p.m. Dec. 23 and cleaning their guns, getting ready to "go shoot" on Christmas Eve. West's two-year-old child was asleep upstairs at the time.

Captain Bart Fagan was called to the scene, and he and Owens found and unloaded the 9 mm handgun. Detective Sam Bragg arrived and took photos.

Garcia was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center, and West was taken to Maury Regional Medical Center. Margaret West "did come to the residence to take custody of the two-year-old child," Owens wrote.

Ammunition and handguns -- a Glock 9 mm, a J. C. Higgins .22 semi-auto, and a Bushmaster .223 caliber -- were taken to the sheriff's office "until detectives could speak with both parties," according to Owens' report.