A 68-year-old man accidentally shot himself with a gun rigged at his back door.
Edwin Smith was caught in his own trap at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, at 124 Blevins Drive off of Stony Point Road outside of Shelby.
According to investigators, Smith had a shotgun set up facing his back door. He went outside to feed some squirrels. At some point, he opened the door and the gun fired and hit his right arm. Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies did not immediately know if the contraption malfunctioned or if he forgot the weapon was rigged to fire.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” said Capt. Jon Wright with the Sheriff’s Office.
First responders cautiously went through the home to be sure nothing else was rigged with weapons. The man was taken to Atrium Health in Shelby.
Wright said Smith was severely wounded but alert when he was transported.
Crystal Blevins, Smith’s neighbor, described him as a kind man who cared about his neighbors.
“He also stood up for our neighborhood when drugs and bad people started moving in,” Blevins said.
The wooded area where the incident happened is littered with no trespassing signs including a large red and white one warning “crackheads, drug dealers and illegal aliens” to stay off the property.
Smith added the sign to his property just a few months ago, Blevins said.
Joyce Orlando can be reached at 704-669-3341 or find her on Twitter @Star_J_Orlando.
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