BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - A Mississippi County sheriff’s deputy was injured this week after a weapon in his possession accidentally went off in a eye doctor’s office, striking him in the groin, according to authorities.
According to an incident report from the Blytheville Police Department, officers went to Vision Care on North 6th Street around 1:30 p.m. Jan. 23 about a person who had shot himself.
The deputy - Matthew Richardson - was at the scene when officers arrived, the report noted.
“Upon arrival at Dr. Johnson’s office, I noticed a white SUV backing out of a parking spot. I made contact with a white female driving and passenger Matthew Richardson, who was bleeding from the groin area,” the incident report noted. “I offered Richardson medical attention, to which he declined stating he could make the ride to the ER.”
Police then escorted Richardson to a nearby hospital for treatment. While there, officers spoke to Richardson about what happened.
“Upon speaking with Richardson, it was determined that he had a handgun in his right jacket pocket. Richardson stated that he was at the business standing in front of the reception desk and put a pair of eyeglasses in his right jacket pocket. Richardson advised that when he put the glasses in his pocket, the handgun went off (discharged)," the incident report noted.
Richardson told police he started bleeding after the .357 firearm went off. Officers then looked at his jacket and found a very large hole in the right hand pocket, police said. Police also recovered a damaged car key and projectile fragments from the weapon as well.
Richardson also told police that they called for an ambulance and that the receptionist at the doctor’s office offered to take him to the hospital.
No one else was hurt.
“It was determined that Richardson is a Law Enforcement Officer and was lawfully in possession of the firearm at the time of the incident. It has been determined that the discharging of the firearm was accidental. No arrest or citation has been made or issued at this time,” the incident report noted.