Keene gun

Two gun range safety officers were injured in what police say was an accidental shooting on the day of the Cheshire County Republican Committee’s event.

KEENE — Two men designated as safety officers at the Cheshire County Shooting Sports Education Foundation suffered gunshot wounds when one of them mistook a loaded gun for a training gun during a presentation on Sunday, according to police.

The only activity listed for that day on the club’s calendar was the “Republican Shoot,” also known as the Al Kulas Shoot — a Republican committee fundraiser named in honor of deceased local radio host Al Kulas.

Marilyn Huston, chairman of the Cheshire County Republican Committee, did not respond to a request for comment. Peter Crowell, the club’s general manager, declined to comment on the incident when contacted Monday. He said any media reporting should wait until the police investigation is complete.

Keene Police Lt. Steven Tenney said Monday that the men were both rushed to Cheshire Medical Center Sunday afternoon after police responded to the 911 call about the shooting at the Ferry Brook Road facility. The men had been engaged in giving some sort of presentation, Tenney said, when one of the men mistook a real, loaded pistol for a training gun that does not fire.

“It was clearly an accident,” Tenney said.

The gun went off during the presentation and one trainer was shot in the hand, and the other in the abdomen, Tenney said. Neither man suffered life-threatening injuries, he said, though their conditions were not known on Monday.

Shooting events have become a popular fundraising method. The Hillsborough GOP held a fundraiser with full-automatic weapons last month. No incidents were reported at that event.

Tenney said the investigation is ongoing, and that no decisions have been made regarding possible charges. He stressed that the incident appears to be accidental.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019