BLOOMINGTON — Two men were injured in an accidental shooting Saturday morning at the ECA Gun and Knife Show at Bloomington’s Sale Barn.
An attendee at the show was handling a mini-14 semiautomatic rifle at about 11:15 a.m. As the patron was laying the rifle back on a vendor table, the gun accidentally discharged, said McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery.
“The round went through a post, through a person and then into another person,” Emery said.
The sheriff described the post as wooden, and 6 to 8 inches thick.
The sheriff said one man suffered a chest wound. Details of the second person’s injuries were not immediately available.
One victim was taken to OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, while the other was transported to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.
According to Emery, one victim was out of surgery and listed in critical but stable condition as of 7:15 p.m. Saturday, while the other victim had been treated and released.
It was not immediately known whether the chest-wound victim underwent the surgery and in which hospital that person was admitted.
A third person was injured, but the sheriff did not believe it was a gunshot wound. That person refused treatment at the scene.
Emery said the discharged round was a .223- caliber bullet, and police would be investigating why a loaded gun was on hand at the show.
“It’s firearm safety,” Emery said. “There should not be one weapon on the premises that has ammunition in it.”
Emery said additional witnesses were still being interviewed Saturday night and the incident remains under investigation.
Normal resident Wally Ward was in the Sale Barn when the gun discharged.
“I heard a large pop, and the next thing I knew people were running for the doors,” said Ward.
The show opened at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Sale Barn, 2027 S. Main St., and was back in operation shortly after the shooting. It is scheduled to run through today.
An organizer of the show said ECA, the Egyptian Collectors Association, has sponsored the local show for more than 10 years. Emery said this is the first time there has been an incident at the show.