Friend says weekend shooting in Whitwell that injured teen was accidental
A Whitwell man is facing a long list of charges after shooting himself in the hand, and a teenage girl.
A friend who was in the home when the gun went off says it was an accident.
Dustin Melton, 24, is being held in the Marion County Jail.
He faces seven counts of reckless endangerment, which is one count for each person who was in the home when the gun went off.
“It didn't register at first,” Josh Leonard said.
Leonard was watching football with friends when he heard a gunshot.
“I walked into the room and saw that he was hurt in the hand and was yelling and the girls were yelling,” Leonard explained.
Leonard said he found his best friend, Dustin Melton, and a teenage girl bleeding.
“What's going on what's going on?” Leonard added. “Then I saw that she had a gunshot wound and I got the phone to call 911.”
Leonard said Melton accidentally fired his gun.
The bullet traveled through his hand and hit the girl on the side.
Melton will recover.
Authorities have not released an update on the girl's condition.
“It's just an accident,” Leonard said. “Something that went wrong with a gun that was being unloaded.”
Leonard said he has been friends with Melton for many years and said he would never intentionally hurt someone.
“He's a good guy,” Leonard added. “He works every day to support his family. We work from 1:30 in the afternoon till 2 o'clock in the morning.”
Labor Day weekend is typically reserved for football. Instead, Melton sits in the county jail.
Leonard says it's a sad reminder of what he says was a terrible accident.
“Probably be hanging out with his family and stuff just having a good time,” Leonard said. “Just making the best of today with the memories and stuff.”
Melton also faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.
The Whitwell Police Department is investigating the shooting.
As soon as we learn more about the female victim's condition, we'll pass it along.