DECATUR — Police said a Decatur man’s story about being hit by random gunfire was shot down when doctors examined the wound and said the bullet was traveling in the wrong direction.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said doctors at Decatur Memorial Hospital described the angle of the wound in the 23-year-old man’s right leg as vertical in shape, traveling straight up and down.

But the man told police he had been standing outside his apartment complex in the 1300 block of North Edward Street when he was hit Saturday afternoon.

"DMH personnel advised the bullet traveled straight down his leg, which was not consistent with being shot in the manner he described, as they would expect the bullet to have traveled horizontally through his body,” said Officer James B. Weddle, writing in the affidavit.

Weddle said police confronted the man with the question of trajectory and he then admitted “he did, in fact, shoot himself in the leg.” Weddle said the man told them he had been handling a gun he was looking to purchase and hadn’t realized it was loaded when he accidentally pulled the trigger.

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Police later searched the man’s apartment and said they found two fired bullet casings, along with a magazine loaded with 16 live .40 caliber rounds, plus nine live .45 caliber rounds stored in a coffee container.

The man told police the ammunition belonged to him but he had possessed it for a long time. “(He) remained adamant that he did not own a firearm and he was only ‘looking’ at the firearm he accidentally shot himself with,” said Weddle.

The man was booked on preliminary charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and ammunition by a felon, as he has previous convictions for burglary and aggravated fleeing/eluding police. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office and the man is free after posting $15,000 bond; prosecutors had asked for $25,000.

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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