Accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound leads to prison sentence for Atchison man

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Published: May. 19, 2023 at 12:46 PM CDT
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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (KCTV) - A 19-year-old man from Atchison will serve prison time after an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot resulted in criminal charges.

Christian Harris was sentenced Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to a charge of criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and to a charge of interference with law enforcement.

Harris received a sentence of 19 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) on the firearm charge and 6 months in the KDOC on the interference charge. Both sentences will run concurrently.

The 19-year-old from Atchison arrived at the emergency room at Saint John’s Hospital on the morning of March 18, 2022, with a gunshot wound on his hand. Police were notified and a Leavenworth Police Department officer was dispatched to the hospital to investigate how the injury occurred.

Harris told the officer he accidentally shot himself in the hand with a pistol and advised officers that the shooting took place behind his mother’s residence in the Woodland Village Apartments. When the officer confronted Harris about inconsistencies in his story, he changed his recollection of the events.

Further investigation by the officer revealed that Harris was actually inside the residence when the shooting took place and a witness told officers that the 19-year-old was playing with the gun when it fired. The gun was recovered at the scene. Due to a prior conviction, Harris is not permitted by law to possess a gun.

“Guns aren’t toys,” Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said. “We’re lucky that no on else was hurt in this careless use of a firearm.”