Minnesota man accidentally shot shares cautionary tale for hunters

It's been two weeks now since Brad Schmidt was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center from his home in Todd County. Day by day he's working toward regaining mobility in his hand and his leg after a longtime friend accidentally shot him while wiping his rifle dry following an evening of deer hunting.

“He was putting his gun away and I don’t even know what I was doing, we were chatting about what we were going to do the next day and stuff like that,” said Schmidt. “Then all of a sudden I heard the bang."

Schmidt was hit in the leg and fell on his arm causing compartment syndrome. He's had more than six surgeries and for a brief time feared the worst. 

“I had to make it,” said Schmidt. “I got a little seven-year-old granddaughter, she’s papa's girl.”

With three other grandchildren in mind, plus one on the way, Schmidt is sharing what happened because he wants to remind even the most experienced hunters to make sure their guns are unloaded and have the safety on when cleaning.

“He was cleaning it off and Lord only knows why," he said. "I know he had the clip out of the gun already. Why the bullet wasn’t out of the chamber, I don’t know.”

Regardless, Schmidt and his family have already forgiven that friend. Now Schmidt is just focused on his physical therapy and fine motor skills, so he can get back to the woodworking he loves. His woodwork and cabinet making also provide for him and his family. 

“We’ve already told him it’s not his fault, accidents happen,” said Schmidt. “I mean it’s God’s will, and a very great will. But there is a lesson to be learned in it and if this can help one other person, it’s all worth it."

At this point, Schmidt does not know how long his stay at North Memorial to be and he does not have health insurance. His family has started a GoFundMe page to help cover expenses this holiday season.