BIG FLATS, N.Y. (WETM) — Police in Chemung County say a suspected hunting accident resulted in a Pine City man being airlifted numerous times to Pennsylvania hospitals after being shot over the weekend.
In a release by the Chemung County Sheriff’s Department, on Sunday, Nov. 19, around 12:49 p.m., deputies were sent to state land at 2734 state Route 352 in Big Flats for a reported shooting incident.
When deputies arrived, they learned that a 41-year-old Pine City man had been shot in the left arm just below the elbow. Police say that a deputy helped the victim by using a tourniquet on his arm as soon as possible to stop the bleeding.
An investigation into the shooting began when police learned that the gun, belonging to a 29-year-old man from Wellsburg, had been placed on the driver-side fender of the victim’s truck.
The scoped Winchester Model 94, lever action 30-30 was placed five to eight feet away from the victim and adjacent to the truck’s open front driver’s side door.
Police say the owner of the rifle walked to the other side of the truck and shortly after heard a loud bang, proceeded by the victim yelling out that he had been shot.
Police believe that the rifle fell over onto the scope causing the rifle to fire at a rising trajectory into the victim’s arm who had been described as being “hunching over” when the rifle went off.
According to police, the Winchester Model 94 doesn’t have a traditional safety feature, and once it’s cocked the bullet loads into the chamber and the hammer goes back, the hammer then would have to go forward while squeezing the trigger to get the weapon to fire. The owner of the weapon told police he didn’t recall doing those steps before leaning the rifle against the truck.
As for the victim, Guthrie Life Flight was called to the scene and airlifted the victim to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA for treatment and to be stabilized before taking another helicopter to a hospital in Philadelphia for further treatment.
Police say that potential charges are pending through the Department of Environmental Conservation and/or the Sheriff’s Office once the case is looked over and completed.