An incident of accidental gunfire last week at the Vigo County Public Library has been investigated by the Terre Haute Police Department.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Jan. 5 in the lower level meeting room.
Library director Kristi Howe told the Tribune-Star that a group that describes itself as firearm "hobbyists" had reserved the room, with the understanding that no ammunition would be allowed. However, one of the firearms did contain a live round that was accidentally fired during the meeting.
"We're grateful first and foremost that no one was injured," Howe said.
The Vigo County Public Library’s practice is to follow the state legislation that outlines the regulations regarding guns in public places.
A security guard was patrolling outside the meeting room when the incident occurred. The guard heard the shot and responded immediately, and notified the appropriate library personnel about the incident. Police were also notified.
Howe said the library does not regulate the ability of patrons in the library to carry firearms. Anyone with a valid permit to carry a firearm can enter the public building with the firearm, she said.
A THPD report on the incident states that a husband and wife were in the meeting room when the bullet was fired into a wall of the library. No description of the gun was in the report, according to THPD Capt. Ed Tompkins.
Witnesses told police that the husband was demonstrating a laser bore guide, which was inserted into the barrel of the firearm to emit a light that is aimed at a target. When the man's wife put the guide in her firearm and pulled the trigger of the gun, a live round fired, entering the wall and damaging the bore sighter.
Two people were in an adjoining room, but were not injured by the gunfire, Tompkins said.
Howe stated that no one outside the area knew about the incident. The lower level also houses the children's area of the library.
"There were people in the children's area," she said, "and no one even heard the shot."