Bear hunter has accidental shooting

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The TVA ambulance carrying the teen who was shot in the thigh pulls up to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, Tuesday in Libby. (Luke Hollister/The Western News)

Things turned tragic for a father and son from Utah who came to the area looking to hunt bears on Tuesday, after an accidental discharge put the son’s life in jeopardy.

No names have been released from the incident, but the pair were on Callahan Creek Road when they spotted a bear running across the road, said Lincoln County Undersheriff Brian Griffeth.

“He got out of the car, chambered a round — when the round was chambered, the gun accidentally went off,” Griffeth.

Griffeth said that after law enforcement inspected the scene of the shooting, it appeared that the shooting was completely accidental.

From scanner traffic, the son sustained a serious wound to his upper right leg and the femur appeared to have been shattered.

After reaching the Troy Volunteer Ambulance ambulance barn, the son received treatment and was transported to Cabinet Peaks, from where he was flown out, Griffeth said.

From the Lincoln County Dispatch media release, the father and son arrived at the ambulance barn just before 4 p.m.

Griffeth said that the son was stabilized at Cabinet Peaks before he was flown out.

Troy Police Officer Henry Roy was on scene at the ambulance barn along with Officers Travis Miller and Meghen O’Brien.

He said that when officers arrived on scene, there was already a leather belt in place as a tourniquet.

“There was still some bleeding present, and we went above that tourniquet and applied ours,” Roy said.

Roy said that he and O’Brien used one of their department-issued tourniquets.

The father and son first stopped near Town Pump — which later led to one of many incorrect rumors that were spread on Facebook that day — seeking assistance from a man who was mowing the property across Second Street from the gas station.

Rick White, a Troy Volunteer Firefighter and assistant manager at Booze ’N Bait, was driving past when he heard the father yelling at the man mowing grass, asking for the hospital.

White had the father follow him to the ambulance barn, where White used his belt as a tourniquet to try to stop the bleeding. He said he found out the father and son were from Utah.

White said that the victim didn’t appear to be older than his late teens.

According to the dispatch media release, the gun was later recovered at the scene of the shooting by law enforcement.

No further information was available at press time regarding the condition of the son.

Adding to confusion spread on Facebook that day, around 4:45 p.m., someone in the area of Lil’ Joe’s in Troy fired a shot in the air, connected to a domestic disturbance.

According to the media release from dispatch, the caller reported firing a shot into the air after he felt in danger due to an ongoing disturbance between two individuals.

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