Chesterton Tribune

Coroner: Portage man shoots self accidentally with new gun

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A 21-year-old Portage man apparently shot himself to death accidentally with a handgun purchased only the day before, the Porter County Coroner’s Office said.

Coroner Robert Schulte told the Chesterton Tribune today that his office was dispatched to the man’s home, in the 500 block of Sunrise Ave., at 4:40 a.m. Thursday after his mother found him deceased in his bedroom.

The man’s mother advised that she had woken a short time earlier, saw the light in her son’s bedroom, and discovered him lying on his bed with a gunshot wound to the head, Schulte said.

“The family reported that the man had never been suicidal, had never verbalized suicidal thoughts,” Schulte noted. But he had been “familiarizing himself with the gun, loading and unloading it.”

An autopsy performed later on Thursday found nothing suspicious, Schulte added, and right now the death has been preliminarily ruled accidental. “But the investigation is ongoing and we’re awaiting results of a routine toxicology screen,” he said.

Sgt. Keith Hughes of the Portage Police Department identified the handgun in question as an unspecified make and model of semi-automatic and said that the man had purchased it from Bass Pro Shop.

Posted 10/15/2010