Custer man accidently shoots son-in-law after deer hunting

A 22-year-old Ferndale man was seriously injured Monday, Oct. 18, when his father-in-law accidently shot him in the thigh.

About 10:30 p.m., the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office responded to a call from a 50-year-old Custer man who said he had just accidently shot his son-in-law in the left thigh while trying to unload his rifle, said Sgt. Larry Flynn.

The father-in-law had put a tourniquet on the wounded leg and was driving down Mosquito Lake Road when he called for medical assistance, Flynn said.

The men had been on the Van Zandt Dike where the father-in-law had been deer hunting, and his son-in-law was keeping him company. When they returned to the father-in-law's pickup truck, the older man opened the driver's side door and tried to unload his .30-30 rifle using the dome light inside his truck, Flynn said.

A round got jammed in the weapon and as the man tried to clear it, his son-in-law jumped into the passenger's seat of the truck. At about the same time, the gun discharged, striking the younger man in the leg.

The son-in-law was taken to St. Joseph Hospital. His injuries were serious, but did not appear to be life-threatening, Flynn said.