A Rocky Top man died in what was reported to be an accidental shooting on Dutch Valley Road in Anderson County on Tuesday night, authorities said.
Christopher Scott Cody Bunch, 23, was unresponsive and lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the chest when Anderson County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to a home on Dutch Valley Road at about 9:57 p.m. Tuesday, an incident report said. A neighbor who is certified in first aid and had been called over was sitting next to Bunch holding a towel on the wound, the report said.
Paramedics responded and tried to save Bunch, but he was pronounced dead just after 10 p.m., the report said.
Joseph Eric McClane, of Clinton, told Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Joshua A. Humphrey that he accidentally shot Bunch, his friend, the report said.
Witnesses said a group of people had been standing in a room next to the kitchen, talking about the .45-caliber handgun, and McClane was holding it when it “just went off.” McClane said he and Bunch had been discussing single-action versus double-action guns, and he had his thumb on the hammer and finger on the trigger, “trying to de-cock the hammer.”
“Joseph then stated that somehow the hammer slipped, and the gun went off,” Humphrey said.
“He stated that Christopher then looked at him and stated ‘(I) have been shot,'” Humphrey said. “Joseph stated, ‘I thought it hit the wall.’ Joseph then said that Christopher grabbed his chest, and Joseph said, ‘I shot him.'”
An Anderson County Sheriff’s Department detective responded at about 10:50 p.m., and the case has been referred to the Criminal Investigations Division.
Dutch Valley Road is north of Oak Ridge between Oliver Springs and Briceville.
More information will be added as it becomes available.