Man accidentally shot by his buddy in camping trip gone wrong

A Victoria-area man sustained non-life threatening injuries after being shot by a friend on the shores of Nitinat River.

Lake Cowichan RCMP say the firearms incident was an accident.

It happened at about 5 a.m. on Sept. 24 near the river, where the two 22-year-old men from the greater Victoria area were camping in a tent.

“One of the males was woken up by what he believed was a black bear trying to gain entry to the tent,” Const. Grant Desmet said in a media release.

“One of the males grabbed a firearm and discharged several rounds out through the tent in the direction be believed the bear to be.”

Desmet believed both men were in the tent at the time the firearm was discharged, but as a result of firing rounds inside the confined space, the other man was struck — once in the face, and once in the arm, causing extensive injuries.

“The type of ammunition used would have a bit of a spray, so depending on how close and what angle the victim was at, it’s certainly a possibility he got accidentally struck by some of the bird shot,” Desmet said.

The injured man was driven by his friend to Youbou, where they were met by B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics.

The injured male was then transported to Cowichan District Hospital, and finally Victoria General Hospital.

Desmet, meanwhile, said alcohol was not thought to be a factor in the incident, and added it’s still unclear whether charges would be considered, as the matter is still under investigation by the RCMP and B.C. Conservation Service.

It's unknown whether or not there was a bear at the campsight — while there was no definitive evidence to suggest that was the case, it's hardly uncommon for bears to be in that area at this time of year, police said.

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