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Man hurt when gun blasts toilet

Published: Thursday, Jan. 15 2009 2:12 a.m. MST

A toilet inside the Carl's Jr. in Centerville is in pieces after a man accidentally dropped his concealed weapon. A bullet struck the toilet, and the flying shrapnel wounded the man.

Centerville Police Department

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CENTERVILLE — A man was wounded by shrapnel from a toilet when his concealed weapon accidentally went off while he was using the bathroom, police said.

It happened Tuesday at the Carl's Jr. restaurant at 385 N. 800 West. Police said the 26-year-old man had gone into the bathroom to use the toilet, armed with a .40-caliber Kahr P40 handgun. The man, who has a valid concealed weapon permit and was lawfully in possession of the gun, had it in a holster inside his pants.

"While pulling his pants up the gun fell out of the holster, striking the tile floor," Centerville Police Lt. Paul Child said Wednesday. "When the gun hit the floor, it went off, and the bullet struck

the toilet, shattering it and sending sharp pieces of porcelain flying."

The man was hit by some porcelain shards, lacerating his arm. No one else was injured, but an employee of the restaurant in the next-door women's restroom heard the gunshot and panicked.

"She was shaken, she was upset and was complaining of some chest pain," Child said.

The man walked into the restaurant area, holding his wound and asked an employee to call 911. Police and paramedics responded to the call of shots fired inside the restaurant and ended up treating the man for the cuts to his arm. The woman also was treated at the scene.

"In this case it appears that the accident would have been prevented if the man had used a secure holster," Child said. "A good quality firearm also should not fire if it is dropped."

The man was not cited, but police took the firearm for safekeeping while they finish their investigation.

"He was shaken up. We felt it was prudent to secure the firearm," Child said. "He'll be able to have the firearm released back to him."


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com

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