A Nez Perce County sheriff’s deputy accidentally shot himself with a projectile loaded into a pen during a vehicle search Wednesday.
An unidentified deputy performed a traffic stop at about 5 a.m. at Hatwai Bypass and U.S. Highway 95, where he arrested the passenger, Dillan Smith, on a warrant. The driver, Jessica Brunmeier, is on probation, and her probation officer consented to a search of the vehicle, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The deputy looked into a backpack in the vehicle and found a small pen. While he was examining the pen it fired a projectile at the deputy, hitting him in the stomach. The wound was superficial and caused some bruising so the deputy returned to duty.
Cpl. Nick Woods refused to identify the deputy involved. Woods said his commanding officer did not give a reason for withholding the deputy’s name.
The pen contained gunpowder and some sort of a projectile. Multiple do-it-yourself weapons utilizing pens can be found online, such as a spear gun where the spring from a pen is used to fire out a projectile.
Officers also found a 9mm handgun in the vehicle.
Brunmeier and Smith are being held on warrants, as well as a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.
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