Man accidentally shoots himself with 'flashlight gun' in Saint A - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Man accidentally shoots himself with 'flashlight gun' in Saint Albans, WV

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A man was accidentally shot in the hand with a zip gun in St. Albans, WV. A man was accidentally shot in the hand with a zip gun in St. Albans, WV.
A man was accidentally shot in the hand with a zip gun in St. Albans, WV. A man was accidentally shot in the hand with a zip gun in St. Albans, WV.
UPDATE:

A Saint Albans man accidentally shot himself with a zip gun, or improvised firearm, over the weekend.

Local authorities said this type of weapon is not only dangerous but illegal, too.
Kevin Tolbert said he found the weapon on the side of the road while walking around town.

The weapon is disguised as a flashlight on one end, with a short gun barrel concealed inside the other end.

"When they make them, a lot of times they don't know what they're doing and they can blow up in your hand, blow up in your face, and a lot of time do damage to themselves," said Deputy Chief Jason Beckett, Charleston Police Department.

Beckett said they don't see too many improvised firearms in the area.  Still, the recent incident with Tolbert serves as a reminder these weapons are out there.

"If you see something on the road and it doesn't look right and you're not sure what it is, just stay away from it and call 911," Beckett said.

Beckett said there are manufacturers that make guns disguised as other objects.  These weapons are legal to purchase, as long as they are a registered firearm with a serial number.

"Some manufacturers will make guns that appear to look like other objects.  They have a serial number and have to be registered just like a gun," he said.

Saint Albans police are working closely with federal authorities to figure out where the 'flashlight gun' came from.  Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said they are closely monitoring the situation.
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A man was taken to a hospital after being accidentally shot in St. Albans, WV.

According to a news release issued by the St. Albans Police Department, 37-year-old Kevin Tolbert walked into the Kanawha County Ambulance station on 5th Street at about 7:40 p.m. Saturday, April 26, with a small wound to his left hand.  He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The device Tolbert described, which accidentally went off in his hand when he was walking in the area of the 400 block of 6th Avenue, led to the dispatching of the Bomb Squad of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, as a precaution.

The news release says a man who accompanied Tolbert led police to the device at a residence on Gallatin Street in Amandaville, finding it to be a zip gun, which is a disguised weapon with a flashlight on one end and a short gun barrel concealed inside exiting the other end.  It fires a small caliber handgun bullet.

According to the news release, there is an investigation on this gun and the incident.