A man accidentally shot himself at Fort Harrison around 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office said.
The injured man was transported in a law enforcement SUV from the scene and transferred to an ambulance at the intersection of Euclid and Henderson, Capt. George Cruickshank said.
At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Cruickshank said the man was in stable condition, awaiting surgery at St. Peter’s Hospital, but his current condition is unknown.
The incident occurred during a training exercise put on by the law enforcement agency for which the man works, Cruickshank said, and the injured man’s coworkers were quick to get him en route to the hospital.
“He was scooped up by other law enforcement guys, put in one of their SUVs and taken towards St. Peter’s Hospital,” he said. “He’s one of their brothers, so they want to get him scooped up as soon as they can.”
The man was conscious at the time of the transfer to the ambulance.
The exercise involved officers “drawing their weapons, firing and re-holstering,” Cruickshank said.
“You are trained and trained and trained to keep your finger off the trigger, but in the heat of the situation ... it just takes one second of mental lapse (to fire accidentally),” he said.
Cruickshank said all law enforcement training exercises use live rounds, and in this case, it is unclear whether the weapon was used incorrectly.
Maj. Tim Crowe, a spokesman for the Montana Army National Guard, said that because the incident occurred at a National Guard range, an investigation will be conducted.
“We need to do an investigation to make sure that all the safety procedures and policies ... were being conducted correctly and safely,” Crowe said.
Neither Cruickshank nor Crowe would release the name of the law enforcement agency for which the man worked.