Lake Wylie, SC
A man eating at a popular York County restaurant was shot in the leg Saturday morning after a gun fell from another man’s pocket and went off, police said.
The gun owner will not be charged after the incident at the Bagel Boat around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, said York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson.
Under South Carolina law, no crime was committed in the accidental shooting, Tolson said.
“Although the act was irresponsible, irresponsibility does not rise to the level of criminality,” Tolson said.
Prosecutors with the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in York reviewed the case and agreed no crime had been committed, Tolson said.
A 37-year-old Charlotte man was sitting with his son and his son’s friend eating breakfast at a table near the door when his .22-caliber pistol fell from his sweatpants pocket and the shot went off, according to a sheriff’s office report.
A York County man, 61, was shot in the leg as he was walking past the table, the incident report said.
The victim was transported to a Charlotte hospital but is expected to recover, Tolson said.
The gun owner has a legal permit to carry the weapon in North Carolina, Tolson said. South Carolina’s reciprocity agreement recognizes concealed weapons permits issued to North Carolina residents, Tolson said.
“Nothing in the law requires a person to carry the gun in a specific location as long as it is concealed,” Tolson said. “He was carrying it concealed. Then it fell out.”
The gun owner told officers he immediately tried to render aid until EMS arrived.
Police talked to witnesses and reviewed video surveillance from the restaurant. The gun was taken as evidence, police said.
Because no charges were filed, The Herald is not naming the gun owner or the shooting victim.
Bagel Boat owner Frank Keefe said the restaurant was packed at the time of the shooting. Keefe said he and others heard a sound but were unsure what it was. Keefe said he was in a kitchen area of the store and thought possibly a pan had dropped or a pipe exploded.
“The sound was loud,” Keefe said.
Then, the gun owner was working to assist the victim before emergency responders arrived, Keefe said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim who we understand to be a brand new resident,” said Keefe, who opened the restaurant on Charlotte Highway at Lake Wylie Plaza six years ago. “As neighbors, we regret this is their introduction to Lake Wylie, which is a wonderful, peaceful and serene setting. My hope is that nobody who was there will be emotionally impacted.”