MANKATO — This is a Christmas story that Ralphie could probably relate to, except it wasn’t an eye that this guy got shot out.
Police are investigating a report by a Mankato man who said he was randomly shot in the rump while walking downtown Christmas Day.
Authorities suspect the man actually shot himself in the tush while putting a handgun into, or taking it out of, a holster.
The incident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed, so the name of the man isn’t being used for this story — not even in the end.
Police officer Steve Hoppe was called to the Mankato hospital’s Emergency Department on Dec. 25 after the man arrived there and asked to be treated for a bullet wound to his buttocks. Hoppe was almost immediately suspicious about the man’s claim he had been shot while walking in the 200 or 300 block of North Broad Street, according to a search warrant request made last month by police detective Jason Bennett.
The wound didn’t look like it came from a bullet that had been fired by an unseen shooter. Hoppe took pictures that could be used to help prove that later, Bennett said. It was a clean shot that looked like it had been fired from a gun right next to the man’s right butt cheek.
Here’s how Bennett described it in police language:
“Officer Hoppe also observed and photographed evidence to suggest the gunshot wound sustained was at very close proximity, if not a contact wound,” the written request said. “The wound was to (the man’s) right buttocks, and was through-and-through.
“Officer Hoppe indicated that the location would be consistent with an accidental discharge of a right-handed shooter during holstering/unholstering of the firearm, as the entrance wound was at the outer lower right part of the buttocks, and the exit wound was in the upper part of the right thigh. If standing, this would indicate a bullet path was in a downward direction.”