Police: Shooting was an accident

COVINGTON -- A 42-year-old man was found bleeding and lying on the sidewalk in front of the Kroger store on U.S. Highway 278 Monday around 8:30 p.m., according to the Covington Police Department.

"He shot himself in the leg. We don't have any indication foul play was involved," said CPD spokesman Detective D.J. Seals.

Seals said the man told officers he had just purchased the pistol and was sitting in the car playing with it when it went off.

An intensive care nurse from Rockdale County happened to be on the scene and administered first aid until EMS personnel arrived. The man was then flown by air ambulance to Atlanta Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition Tuesday morning.

The man was driving an SUV, which was parked in front of the store, according to a CPD incident report. When officers checked the vehicle after following a trail of blood to it, they found the gun, the spent bullet and shell casing.

"From the blood trail I was able to ascertain that (the victim) exited the vehicle upon shooting himself. Once out of the SUV he went around the back of the vehicle, walked to the Kroger, went inside the far right door, then walked back past the shopping carts again and into the store. Once inside the store, he paused for a brief second or two, walked back out of the store and sat against the column where I found him laying," the incident report states.

After questioning witnesses who confirmed they heard no altercation nor saw any suspicious activity, officers released the scene to the fire department to clean up the blood from the parking lot.