ROGERSVILLE — Police said a Rogersville teenager apparently had a guardian angel looking after him Sunday evening when a friend accidentally shot him in the back with a stolen .45-caliber Remington handgun.
The boy was treated and released from the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital emergency room, although Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson said the bullet was apparently left inside the boy for the time being.
The alleged shooter, Matthew A. Lindsey, 18, 226 Fugate St., Rogersville, has been charged with felony reckless endangerment and theft under $500.
Nelson said at least three boys and possibly more were riding around Rogersville Sunday evening about 5 p.m.
Everyone in the vehicle except for Lindsey was believed to be juveniles.
“The boys in the car were looking at the gun, passing it around, and when the suspect (Lindsey) got ahold of it he supposedly looked it over real good and somehow the gun accidentally discharged,” Nelson said. “He was in the back seat, and the bullet passed through the front seat into the back of the other boy. The bullet didn’t hit anything vital, and he must be awful lucky because he was treated and released.
“I think they’re going to decide later what kind of further treatment to do — whether to get the bullet out or not. He’s got a guardian angel or something because it’s not often you get hit with a .45 and come out of it that easy.”
Although there haven’t been any other charges in this incident as of yet, Hawkins County Sheriff Roger Christian said the .45-caliber handgun and possibly other firearms found in the vehicle were reported stolen as part of a recent burglary that occurred out in the county.
Christian said his detectives have questioned some of the boys who were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, but he was unable to comment further on the investigation Monday evening.
Nelson noted that at least one of the boys told his officers that they were “wanting to get rid” of the guns as soon as possible when the shooting occurred.
Lindsey was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and then released from the Hawkins County Jail on $1,500 bond.