Man Shoots Himself in the Hand, Friend Lies to Officers About Guns, St. Louis County Police Say

One man was arrested and another was taken to the hospital after an accidental shooting in Affton last night.

There aren't a whole lot of details yet, but St. Louis county police say it's a clear example of the dangerous consequences of improperly handling guns.

"If you're going to own a weapon, I wouldn't be passing it to friends and letting them practice," officer Randy Vaughn tells Daily RFT, adding that this is what happens when "people that have no idea what to do with weapons" get their hands on guns.

What occurred?

Just before midnight, Affton and southwest precinct officers responded to a shooting on Philo Avenue and found that a 21-year-old man had shot himself in the hand.

He told police that he had been trying to put ammunition from a .40 caliber handgun into a .45 caliber handgun when it went off in his hand.

He was there with another 21-year-old male acquaintance, Vaughn says. Officers asked them about the the location of the weapon and didn't get a straightforward answer.

But they searched and eventually located the gun. This second suspect, who police say was the gun owner, had lied to police about the gun and other aspects of the incident.

He was arrested; the man who shot himself in the hand went to the hospital.

It's unclear at this time if the individual who went to the hospital could potentially face charges as well. The other man was arrested for interfering with police, Vaughn says.

"If you are going to own a weapon, you need to know how it functions and what is safe and what is not safe," he says.

Here's the official county police summary as of this morning.

Just before midnight Affton/Southwest Precinct Officers responded to 8500 block of Philo for an accidental shooting where a 21 year old man shot himself in the hand. He claimed to have been trying to put ammunition from a certain caliber handgun (40) into a different caliber weapon (45) and it allegedly went off. Officers asked about the weapon and eventually confirmed that a second suspect had hidden the weapon and lied to officers at the scene about the weapon and other aspects of the incident. The second individual was arrested.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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