A shooting accident sent a local firearms instructor to the hospital with injuries to his left hand.

Fred Petersen, 66, of rural Stockton was showing his wife a .38 Special handgun Thursday morning in their home, Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said.

Brand said Petersen had cleaned the pistol and was putting it into a holster when Petersen’s wife asked him whether it was possible to pull the trigger when the weapon was holstered.

In attempting to answer that question, Petersen triggered the action while holding the gun and holster in his left hand, accidentally firing a shot. The slug struck his left index finger between the first and second joint, damaging the bone, Brand said.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Petersen received initial treatment at Winona Health and then was transferred to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester for a successful surgery to repair the finger, Brand said.

“The gun was pointed in a safe direction,” Petersen said Monday, “but my finger was not in a good spot.”

Get Breaking News delivered directly to you.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Petersen is an NRA-certified instructor for classes required to qualify for a Minnesota concealed-carry handgun permit.

Minnesota statute requires that all injuries involving a firearm be reported to law enforcement.

Get Breaking News delivered directly to you.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

(10) comments


Poor Freddie he never learns. When he worked at houston county sherrifs dept ....he got booted.


Ah, poor Fred! He'll never live that one down!

Brings to mind memories of working on the farm. Our boss always reminded us not to push the corn into the auger with our hands...till one day he lopped off a finger doing that very thing!

And our woods class instructer,...a finger or two in the saw blade really drives that safety message home to the students!


Wasn't there another accidental shooting at his house some years ago that resulted in a death?


And, of course, we are all perfect except for Fred!!!!!!!!


"Why yes, dear, it is possible to pull the trigger while the weapon is holstered. Any other questions?" Fred said disjointedly.


Sorry about you finger Fred, hope you fully recover. No reflection on Fred but this is just more of the pervasive "Farmer Mentality" of Minnesota. The state motto should be, "Why do things right if you can get away with half-assed?" Sorry to say but I think there was some half-assed gun handling going on here.


Prayers , blessings, and healing thoughts for Fred's healing.


Mistakes happen with guns. even responsible people like Fred.


"certified instructor" points gun "in a safe direction" but finger is in "a bad spot". Sorry Fred but that is just way too funny. Good thing it wasn't your head.

I would think a "safe direction" would mean that no body parts were in the line of fire. Makes me want to sign up for a class.......NOT


First rule of firearm safety - the gun is ALWAYS loaded!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.