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By Averett Jones, Southside Messenger Editor
LUNENBURG – Lunenburg County Police and Rescue responded to 8557 Lunenburg County Highway after receiving a report of an accidental shooting at 10:30 a.m. March 3.
On Friday morning Daniel Lee Hanks, 31, of Keysville was shooting his almost new Springfield M1A when he had a misfire.
According to Hanks he followed the recommendations in the owner’s manual. He waited longer than the recommended three minutes before attempting to clear the weapon. He then placed the stock on the ground with the barrel pointed away from him and manually retracted the receiver.
At the point where the shell casing was entirely out of the barrel but the bullet was still inside, the shell exploded for no apparent reason.
Part of the casing penetrated three inches into Hank’s stomach and another piece of shrapnel lodged in the web of his right hand between his thumb and fingers damaging an artery. The bullet remained in the barrel.
Police and Rescue were called and Hanks was med-flighted via the Virginia State Police Helicopter to MCV where he was immediately taken to surgery.
He was released from the hospital on Monday and continues to recuperate at home. He will have at least one follow-up surgery to remove another piece of shrapnel from his hand that cannot be removed until the blood vessels have healed, and will need therapy for his hand.
Hanks is the son of Patty and Tommy Hanks.
Hanks said he still doesn’t understand how the bullet fired but says, “I’m lucky to be alive. If I hadn’t been holding the gun away from me I would be dead.”