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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Two men airlifted to Spokane this week for accidental self-inflicted gunshot wounds

By Angela Palermo Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Officers at the Pullman Police Department say a 27-year-old man from Pullman accidentally shot himself in the abdomen with a handgun late Sunday evening.

The man was dropped off at Pullman Regional Hospital before being flown to a hospital in Spokane for additional treatment for the wound, which officials did not believe to be life-threatening.

Aaron Breshears, acting commander and lead firearms instructor at the Pullman Police Department, told the Daily News that practicing firearm safety is critical.

“Firearm safety is something that’s very critical for law enforcement officers as well as the general public because many people in America possess a firearm,” Breshears said. “There’s more people that do than don’t. So having good firearm safety practices is very, very necessary.”

Local law enforcement agencies are also investigating another self-inflicted, accidental shooting.

Early Monday morning, the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office and other emergency personnel responded to a man in LaCrosse who accidentally shot himself in the leg with a handgun.

Deputies say the man was clearing and disassembling the firearm when the injury occurred. He was flown via Life-Flight to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane with non-life-threatening injuries.

Earlier this month, a 25-year-old student at Washington State University died after he accidentally shot himself in the abdomen with a handgun. The incident occurred in a College Hill apartment parking lot in Pullman.

Breshears says anyone handling a firearm should obey the four universal firearm safety rules.

“The first is to treat all guns as if they’re fully loaded,” he said. “The second rule is to never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to destroy and the third is to be aware of the area around your target, the backstop and beyond. The final rule is to keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made a conscious decision to fire.”