CONNERSVILLE, Ind. - Shooting himself in the leg is not the way Connersville Police Chief David Counceller planned to promote his candidacy for Fayette County sheriff.
Counceller's 40-caliber Glock handgun accidentally discharged Saturday afternoon while he was at Wullf's Gun Shop. Counceller, who was off-duty at the time, said he'd been examining a handgun similar to the one he carries.
"I need to pay more attention," Counceller said. "I know what the dangers are. It was pure carelessness on my part."
The accident occurred when Counceller was putting his Glock into its holster after he removed it to compare it to a newer Glock model at the gun shop, Counceller said.
"It got tangled in my clothing," Counceller said of his weapon. "I was wearing a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket. I felt (the gun) go in the holster and I pushed it, but it was tangled in the material which caused it to discharge. The bullet went into my leg and then into the floor."
Counceller said he drove himself to the hospital for treatment of the flesh wound on his upper, right thigh. Nurses thought the chief was joking when he told them he'd shot himself, Counceller said.
"It is an entrance and exit wound," Counceller said. "I'm really lucky. It doesn't even hurt. I'd have been at work (Monday) if it wasn't Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I'll be back at work on Tuesday."
Mayor Leonard Urban said he also thought the police chief was kidding when he got the call saying he'd shot himself.
"It was just a little accident. Dave is an excellent marksman," Urban said Monday. "Apparently the Glocks don't have the trigger safety that they should have."
The gunshot wound Saturday is not Councellor's first. Fifteen years ago, Counceller said he accidentally shot himself in his hand.
"I was working third shift as a captain. I was unloading (the gun) to take it to the gunsmith and I didn't drop the barrel to see if there was (a bullet) in the chamber," Counceller said. "The shot hit my hand. That one really hurt."
Counceller, 60, began his law enforcement career in the 1970s as a military policeman and has served almost 34 years with the Connersville Police Department. Now seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff in Fayette County's May primary, the chief was philosophical about his weekend accident.
"If anyone says this could never happen to them, they're mistaken," Counceller said. "You have to keep your guard up at all times. Some candidates are out there doing things for kids to try to get elected. Me, I shoot myself. What a way to get publicity."