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Schuylkill County Police News

Supposed Accidental Gunshot Wound Leads to Firearms Charge in Minersville

Gunshot victim shouldn’t have had gun, police say.

A Minersville man is facing a felony gun possession charge following an incident back in March.

According to information released this week by Minersville Police Dept., officers were summoned to an apartment at 111 Sunbury St. back on March 30 for a report of a gunshot victim.

When officers arrived, they found Joseph Vuksta, 33, suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg. Vuksta had his leg wrapped in an attempt to stop the bleeding from the gunshot.

Police questioned Vuksta about how he’d been shot. Vuksta told police that he was cleaning his handgun and putting it away. As he was putting it away, Vuksta said he bumped the gun off of a table or an ashtray which caused it to discharge. The bullet then hit him in the leg, Vuksta told police.

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Vuksta was taken to the hospital by EMS professionals who arrived at the Sunbury St. residence.

Police stuck around at the scene and say they questioned Nancy Smith, who lives with Vuksta. Inside the apartment, Smith allegedly told police that the gun involved in this incident normally stays in a safe and typically only comes out to be cleaned.

The gun, however, showed signs of “excessive wear,” according to the police affidavit. Police also observed a spent shell casing on the floor of the apartment.

Police also note that the gun in question has a “long trigger pull” and believe that makes an accidental discharge from a bump unlikely.

A check of Vuksta’s previous criminal history showed that he was not likely permitted to own a gun, police say. A second-degree felony illegal gun possession charge was filed against Vuksta in addition to a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge.

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