The breakfast rush at the Madras Truck Stop was interrupted abruptly Sunday morning when a 19-year-old man accidentally shot himself, blowing off several fingers and injuring the woman seated next to him.
Just before 9 a.m., employees and patrons in the Madras Truck Stop at 955 SW U.S. Highway 97 called 911 to report a gunshot, according to Madras Police Department.
People heard a small pop and afterward could see smoke and smell gunpowder, according to Jesse Israel, manager of the truck stop.
An unnamed man and a woman, also 19, had been hit by a single bullet, suffering injuries not considered life -threatening, said Madras Police Sgt. Steve Webb.
“It was fairly quickly learned that it was probably an accidental discharge of a firearm,” Webb said.
The two were members of a party preparing to eat breakfast, Israel said.
“He had a loaded gun in his hoodie, his front pocket,” Israel said. “And he was playing with it, and his phone, and switching his phone from one pocket to another pocket. It was not on safety and it fired.”
Police believe a bullet traveled through the man’s hand, then his leg, and into the woman’s leg.
The man didn’t scream but ran outside in shock, bleeding profusely, Israel said.
The man was able to secure a ride to the hospital before first responders arrived, Webb said.
“I don’t know what was going through his head, but I know that he went pretty much directly from where it happened to the hospital,” Webb said.
The woman remained at the scene and was treated by medics and sent by ambulance to the same hospital.
Patrons and staff searched in vain for the man’s fingers, worried he’d left them behind.
“We didn’t find any pieces on the floor, but that was probably because they were still in his pocket,” Israel said.
The young man was later transferred to St. Charles Bend for surgery.
No citations were issued Sunday, but police are still investigating whether crimes occurred. The firearm involved was seized as evidence, and truck stop patrons and staff were interviewed as witnesses.
Webb expects to transfer a possible criminal case to the district attorney’s office soon. More information will likely be released at that point.