Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford said that personnel responded to a call of a potential gunshot wound in the parking lot of LongHorn Steakhouse off Ga. 400 Monday afternoon.
According to Dawson County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Maj. Jeff Johnson, law enforcement officers arrived on scene shortly before 4 p.m. and found the reported victim, 21-year-old Michael Gilbert of Dawsonville, in the LongHorn parking lot with his mother Diana Cleghorn.
According to Johnson, Gilbert and Cleghorn were parked in the lot when Gilbert reportedly attempted to unload a weapon.
"Gilbert reported he was attempting to unload his older model Walther .32 semi-automatic pistol when he accidentally fired the weapon several times," Johnson said in an email. "Two of the expended rounds struck the victim in his left thigh area. Other rounds lodged in the vehicle's door."
Dawson County investigator inquiries indicate that the weapon discharge was consistent with the evidence and victim and witness statements, he said.
Johnson said that no charges are filed at this time, but the case is still under investigation.
Swafford said that Gilbert was taken via ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
“We at the sheriff’s office encourage our community to exercise safe and secure weapon handling practices,” Johnson said. “From a law enforcement perspective, we firmly believe in responsible weapon possession. However, we will always emphasize the need for adequate training.”