Man reports being shot; police and medics question validity

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A man reported being shot in the arm with a .22 caliber rifle Sept. 27, but authorities and medical personnel examined the wound and found no evidence of a gunshot. 

A Safford officer was dispatched at about 2:51 p.m. to a residence on Main Street regarding an unresponsive male with an injury. The reporting party said she received a phone call from the male earlier and that he stated he had been shot by his cousin. 

The victim was located in the living room next to an empty bottle of liquor and was breathing but was unconscious. He had a small puncture wound on his left arm but it did not appear to be consistent with a gunshot wound and there was no exit wound, according to the officer’s report. 

The man was transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC) by paramedics with Lifeline Ambulance. Emergency Room staff treated the victim and took X-Rays, but they came back negative for any broken bones or foreign objects (such as a bullet or bullet fragments). 

While at the hospital, the victim said his cousin had used the butt of a shotgun like a baseball bat and struck him. As he retreated, he said his cousin then shot him with a .22-caliber rifle. He also advised that he did not wish to press charges. 

The victim then left the hospital prior to being discharged by the medical staff. The officer attempted to reach the cousin for questioning but was unsuccessful and the case was forwarded to investigations. 

Two days later, the same man was found intoxicated on the floor at a residence on Main Street. Officers responded to the area at about 10:51 p.m. after being called regarding an unwanted subject. 

the man was incoherent and was later transported to MGRMC by paramedics for treatment. 

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