A Tacoma man shot himself in the leg while handling a stolen handgun and tried to pass it off as a drive-by shooting when police arrived to help.
The 20-year-old is now charged with unlawful possession of a pistol by a person under 21 and giving a false statement. He has not yet been arraigned.
The shooting took place Oct. 29 near East 36th and East J streets.
Charging papers give this account: Officers arrived to find the man in the driver’s seat of a car with a gunshot wound to his leg and a bullet hole in the car door.
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He initially claimed he was shot in a drive-by. But, at the urging of a friend who was more concerned about getting the man medical attention than concocting a cover story, he soon admitted he shot himself.
The men told police a 19-year-old friend took the gun from the scene.
Police found the friend nearby and two guns hidden beneath a bush.
The gun used in the shooting was stolen in December 2015; the other gun’s serial number had been ground off and could not be traced.
The friend, who has numerous juvenile convictions, was taken to an area hospital for concerns about high blood pressure.
“He was upset because he knew he had his criminal convictions although he said he believed his gun rights were restored,” records show.
That man is charged with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653