Wood Co. man in critical condition after accidental shooting - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wood Co. man in critical condition after accidental shooting

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -

Joseph Sammartino, 25, was at the Wood County Rifle Range Saturday with his father. That's when, according to Wood County officials, tragedy struck.

They said Joseph was walking down the range to remove some targets. He was about 10 feet from the shooting stand. His father, Stephen, was trying to clear his gun when it accidentally went off. A bullet hit Joseph in the back.

"We spoke to the father at the scene and clearly upset, just a terrible situation for anybody to go through," said Lt. Shawn Becker of the Wood County Sheriff's Department.

Lt. Becker said Joseph was airlifted to Ministry St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield where he remains in critical condition.

Although the shooting is still under investigation, Wood County officials said they think the incident was accidental.

"At this time, there's nothing else to lead us to believe that this is nothing but a tragic accident," said Lt. Becker.

Lt. Becker said it's rare to see an accident like this at a shooting range, but he said this serves as a reminder about the importance of gun safety.

"Gun safety is a huge thing, and it just seems like something like this, you know, could have been avoided," said Lt. Becker.

Officials at the Wood County Sheriff's Department said the shooting is still under investigation, but they don't expect any criminal charges to be filed.

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