Two People Accidentally Shot in East Tennessee Church After Discussion

November 17, 2017 Updated: November 17, 2017

Two people were accidentally shot inside a church in east Tennessee during a discussion about the recent church shooting in Texas, according to local media reports.

The Tellico Plains Police Department said that elder members of the First United Methodist Church were meeting for a Thanksgiving dinner and started discussing the recent church shooting in Texas that left 27 people dead, including the shooter. Someone asked if anyone brings a gun to church.

A man spoke up and said he carries a gun no matter where he goes. He pulled it out, took out the magazine, emptied the chamber, and passed it around. When the gun came back to him, he was put the magazine back in and recharged the chamber then accidentally pulled the trigger.

The gun went off and hit him in the hand and his wife in the abdomen, ABC affiliate WATE reported.

They were taken to UT Medical Center by helicopter for non-life threatening injuries. Their names have not been disclosed to the media.

According to The Associated Press, the make of the gun was a .380 Ruger handgun.

The couple is reported to be in their 80s.

“Somebody else walked up and said, ‘Can I see it?’” Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks said, People magazine reported. “He pulled it back out and said, ‘With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded.’ ”

The man “just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon,” and pulled the trigger, Parks said.

“Just want to let Everyone know that there was a shooting in town today. But it was not an active shooter situation. It was an accidentally discharged handgun,” the Tellico Plains Police Department wrote on Facebook. “No other people were harmed in this accident.”

Nearby schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution, police said.

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