He reached for a flashlight, pulled the trigger and ended up in the hospital, Texas cops say

A North Texas man accidentally shot himself in the leg in Titus County while reaching for a spotlight similar to this one in the dark.
A North Texas man accidentally shot himself in the leg in Titus County while reaching for a spotlight similar to this one in the dark. Video screenshot

Deer season is just around the corner.

That’s what one North Texas man was thinking as he drove his side-by-side utility vehicle back to his cabin near Mount Pleasant after the sun went down on Aug. 5, Titus County Game Warden Capt. Shawn Harvey told McClatchy.

But on that UTV ride, a battery rolled off the seat next to him and onto the floor of the vehicle, according to KEYE, which first reported on the incident.

“It was right after the sun went down, between 9 and 10 p.m.,” Titus County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Bragg told McClatchy. “So he starts feeling around in the dark for his spotlight.”

The man, who Bragg said is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, thought he had found it. He pulled the trigger before he realized what he had actually found on the vehicle’s floor was his .40 caliber Glock handgun.

“It was one of those flashlights with the pistol grip and a trigger,” Harvey said.

The man, in his mid-20s, shot himself in the upper thigh, Bragg said, narrowly missing his femur and his femoral artery. He drove the UTV back to his cabin, then drove himself about 20 miles to Titus Regional Medical Center.

“He was bleeding pretty profusely,” Bragg said.

He has since been released from the hospital and is expected to recover, KEYE reported.

Authorities have not identified the man because they say no crime was committed. Bragg said one deputy questioned the man at the hospital, while another went to the scene of the shooting to confirm his account of what happened, which the department deemed accidental.

“The UTV, the gun, the truck he arrived at the hospital in: They were all registered in his name,” Bragg said. “The property just outside Mount Pleasant where this happened is leased in his name as well.”

Game wardens also responded to the shooting because, since the man was preparing his land for deer season, it was deemed a hunting-related accident. Harvey said the man was there that day “filling deer feeders and putting up deer blinds.”

Deer season for bow hunters opens in Texas on Sept. 29, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

One spotlight brand’s product description on Amazon says its “perfectly proportioned design gives the light a comfortable grip and allows the light to stand on its own.”

But in the dark, for at least one Texan, it also closely resembled his sidearm.

“What’s the right thing to do?” This official Texas Parks and Wildlife video hosted by State Herpetologist Andy Gluesenkamp explains what to do when you find a turtle in the road.