Couple Accidentally Shot While Discussing Guns in Church

A gun safety debate turned into a gun accident and left two injured on Thursday at a church in Tellico Plains, Tennessee.

Reports say 81-year-old Wayne Reid was showing his handgun to other members of the congregation during a community luncheon, when the weapon accidentally discharged. The bullet grazed Wayne's hand as well as his wife's stomach, before it landed in her arm.

According to the other members of the First United Methodist Church, Wayne took his gun out in response to a conversation surrounding guns and their place in church. The debate — likely sparked in part by the recent mass-shooting in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas — led Wayne to produce his pistol, then remove the magazine, showing that it was, in fact, loaded.

Wayne reportedly displayed the weapon and shared his belief that he should have it with him to defend the church in the event of an attack. He then reloaded it and put it away, before another church-goer approached, asking for a closer look. When Wayne made to unload the gun again, it fired by mistake.

Wayne was discharged from the hospital after injuries to his hand were treated. His wife, Kathy Reid, remains in the hospital with a broken arm.


Tellico Plains Police have ruled the shooting accidental. However, Police Chief Russ Parks shared some advice on gun safety. "My biggest thing as far as gun safety is if you're gonna be around a gun like that, be sure you keep your finger off the trigger," he said.