PALATKA, Fla. – A man in the driver’s seat of a car at a gas station in Putnam County was accidentally shot by someone in the back seat and then rushed to the hospital early Wednesday morning, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said a girl and three men who are related were in the car at the Valero gas station in Crescent City when one of the men sitting behind the driver found the driver’s gun and started playing with it. He removed the magazine and thought the gun was empty, but there was a bullet in the chamber and when he pulled the trigger, the bullet fired through the driver’s seat and hit the driver, who reflexively hit the gas.
Deputies said the girl in the front passenger’s seat reached down and used her hands to hit the brakes, stopping the car, and then she started to drive them to the hospital in Palatka. On the way, the car was stopped by deputies and the injured man was transported to the hospital, where he underwent surgery.
There’s no word on his condition.
During the shooting incident, officers had been alerted to keep an eye out for the vehicle as it sped toward the hospital with the shooting victim inside.
While watching for the vehicle, a Palatka police cruiser was involved in a crash with a semi at 6th and Reid streets.
The officer was not injured.