Chesterton Tribune



CPD: Accidentally fires gun, narrowly misses toddler in adjoining apartment

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A Chesterton resident was arrested Monday on a charge criminal recklessness after Chesterton Police said that a round from a firearm which he accidentally discharged in his apartment narrowly missed striking a toddler in an adjoining apartment.

According to police, at 6:37 p.m. officers responded to an apartment building in the 100 block of South Jackson Blvd. after a resident reported that her “Neighbor shot a gun through the wall and almost hit her 3-year-old child.”

On their arrival, one of the officers made contact with Samuel Duley, 22, of 114 S. Jackson Blvd., as he was exiting his apartment. Duley promptly stated, “I was cleaning my gun and totally made a huge mistake. There’s no other way to put it, I made a huge mistake. I can’t believe I did this.”

Duley advised police that he was cleaning his rifle, chambered for .223 caliber ammunition, and that “he pulled the trigger as he was getting ready to ‘pop the pins’ to fully disassemble the rifle,” at which time the round in the chamber discharged and hit his wall at a height of roughly 22 inches off the ground.

Duley added that “typically he doesn’t store his gun with a round in the chamber” but that he “must have spaced out,” police said.

A second officer at the scene subsequently determined that the round came through the wall of the adjoining apartment approximately two and a half feet from where his neighbor’s 3-year-old daughter was playing on the floor. The round then went through the opposite wall and continued into the next apartment, where it struck an entertainment stand and then lodged in a sofa on which that apartment’s resident was resting, police said.

As the investigation proceeded, with Duley being interviewed at the CPD station, a third officer succeeded in extracting the round in question from the sofa--causing $300 in damage to the sofa--and discovered that it “appeared to be a 9mm projectile and not a .223 caliber rife round as previously described by (Duley),” police said.

Meanwhile, back at the CPD station, Duley “was now stating to officers that he actually accidentally fired a 9mm handgun, which directly contradicted his previously made statements,” police said.

Duley--who was also issued a citation for discharging a firearm within the Town of Chesterton--was transported to Porter County Jail on a charge of criminal recklessness.

Both the rifle and the handgun, along with the 9mm round and a 9mm casing, were placed into evidence.


Posted 1/22/2020




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