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Former cop sues Kentucky hunting store after accidentally shooting off his own finger

Security camera footage of a Kentucky police officer accidentally shooting his finger off with a loaded handgun in March. The officer has filed a lawsuit against the store, claiming that the clerk failed to conduct the appropriate safety check (Video: The Washington Post)

A former police officer has filed suit against a hunting and fishing store in Kentucky after shooting off his own finger when an employee gave him a loaded gun.

“He’s had multiple surgeries, thousands of dollars in medical expenses,” Smith’s attorney, B. Alan Simpson, told The Post in a phone interview Tuesday.

The accident at Barren Outdoors happened on March 26, when Darrell Smith asked to see a .380-caliber handgun, according to court documents. Simpson said Smith was merely curious about the gun and wanted to take a look.

“He was not necessarily going in to buy a specific gun or something like that,” Simpson said. “He just happened to be browsing through the cases and this particular gun caught his eye.”

The bullet passed through two fingers, and doctors couldn’t save Smith’s left index finger, Simpson said.

You can watch security footage from store here, and while it’s not gory or anything, I will remind you that it is a video of a person getting his finger shot off.

“Under no circumstances should they have had a loaded weapon in a display case to start with,” Simpson said. “The first problem clearly is that whenever this gun was brought into their inventory, they never checked the weapon. And right before they handed it to Mr. Smith, they obviously never checked the weapon a second time.”

Smith, who worked in law enforcement for about 30 years, is now unemployed, Simpson said.

The court documents, filed Friday in Barren Circuit Court, are below.

Attempts to locate an attorney for Barren Outdoors were unsuccessful. The store, which is located in Glasgow, Ky., declined to comment to WBKO, Bowling Green’s ABC affiliate.

Smith Complaint by sarah_larimer