Elder members of First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains were meeting Thursday afternoon to eat a Thanksgiving dinner when the mass shooting came up, and one of them asked if anyone brought their gun to church, reported WATE-TV.
"Someone asked if he could see his weapon, he released it by stating that it was not loaded and pulled the trigger".
Gun control is a hot-button issue in the United States, so I applaud First United Methodist Church in Tennessee for having an open discussion on church shootings, one of which took nearly 30 lives in Texas earlier this month. He then put the magazine back in and returned the gun to its holster, Parks said.
Parks said a group of people were discussing guns in church. "He pulled it back out and said, 'With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it's not loaded'".
Not only did the man shoot himself in the hand, but the bullet also entered his wife's abdomen, and exited.
Nearby schools were briefly put on lockdown during the initial investigation. Since America is a country with almost one gun for every citizen, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that someone would be shot at their church while attending a meeting about church shootings.
The couple, in their 80s, were taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
The man and woman were listed in stable condition Thursday evening, according to WVLT in Tennessee.
Over the course of the conversation, an 81-year-old man said he actually had his weapon on him at the luncheon.
"No one who was in the church is wishing to press charges and we in the police department think they've suffered enough", Parks said, according to the paper.