Two men were shot by their own guns last weekend and a third attracted a police visit when he was pointing his new gun outside of Kohl's department store in Rapid City.
None of the men were arrested or cited, but police said the two men who suffered the self-inflicted wounds were treated at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
The string of gun-related calls began at 5:30 p.m. Friday when a customer at Kohl's called police and said she saw a man handling a gun while sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot.
It turned out, police said, that he was simply inspecting a new gun he had just purchased while his wife was shopping in the store.
Later Friday night, police received a call that a 42-year-old man had shot himself in the hand while working on a gun in his home at 3113 Grandview Drive.
The bullet traveled through the victim’s hand and lodged in the wall of a residence, according to police. The victim was able to transport himself to the hospital.
The third incident was perhaps the most potentially dangerous. It happened on Monday morning when the handgun of a 20-year-old man discharged while he was adjusting his holster and sitting in a car with two others at 215 Mount Rushmore Road.
The bullet struck the 20-year-old man in the foot. No one else in the vehicle was injured, however. His companions took him to the hospital.
If alcohol had been involved in any of the incidents, it would have likely led to charges, police Capt. Dan Rud said Monday.
Possessing a firearm while intoxicated, even in your home, is a misdemeanor, he said.
The men who were injured handled the situation properly by calling police, Rud said. If they had not called authorities, the staff at the hospital would have made the call, he added.
“If you go to the doctor to have a wound treated, HIPAA does not apply,” Rud said. Under South Dakota law, all medical professionals are required to report gunshot wounds.