Connersville Police Chief David Counceller, who is running for Fayette County sheriff, said he had his 40-caliber out of its holster Saturday to compare it to a newer model Glock at Wulf's Gun Shop and the gun accidentally discharged a round while he was returning it to the holster, the Richmond (Ind.) Palladium-Item reported Tuesday.
"It got tangled in my clothing," Counceller said. "I was wearing a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket. I felt [the gun] go in the holster and I pushed it, but it was tangled in the material which caused it to discharge. The bullet went into my leg and then into the floor."
Counceller said he was able to drive himself to Fayette Regional Health System, where he was treated for a flesh wound to the upper portion of his right thigh.
"It is an entrance and exit wound," Counceller said. "I'm really lucky. It doesn't even hurt. I'd have been at work [Monday] if it wasn't Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I'll be back at work on Tuesday."
The chief said the incident highlights his own need for safety and care.
"I need to pay more attention," Counceller said. "I know what the dangers are. It was pure carelessness on my part."
Counceller, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Fayette County Sheriff in the upcoming May primary, joked about how the incident could raise publicity for his campaign.
"If anyone says this could never happen to them, they're mistaken," Counceller said. "You have to keep your guard up at all times. Some candidates are out there doing things for kids to try to get elected. Me, I shoot myself. What a way to get publicity."