Joe P. Wilson, cashier of the Arizona Central bank, was accidentally shot by Dr. A. J. Mackey at Rogers Lake Sunday morning while the two were in a small boat hunting ducks. Nearly the full charge of No. 4 chilled shot contained in the cartridge struck Mr. Wilson in the right hip, covering a surface at least six inches square and making a wound or group of wounds that was extremely painful but which Drs. G. F. Manning Sr., G. F. Manning Jr., and R. 0. Raymond, who dressed the wound, think will not prove fatal.
The accident occurred at about nine o'clock. There were twenty-five or thirty hunters at the lake. Those in the party with Mr. Wilson and Dr. Mackey and who were close by at the time were Dr. Felix Manning, who is Mr. Wilson's brother-in-law, and Fred J. Lusk.
Mr. Wilson and Dr. Mackey were in a small steel boat, a short distance from the shore. Mr. Wilson was in the front end of the boat and was handling it, Dr. Mackey sitting behind him. The latter started to pick up his gun, a twelve-gauge pump shotgun, when in some manner it was discharged, it is believed by the hammer catching on some part of the boat or in the doctor's clothing. The charge apparently hit the boat first, glancing, and most of it striking Mr. Wilson.
The three others in the party placed the injured man in one of the automobiles as quickly as possible, making him as comfortable as they could. He was suffering intensely from the burns and perforations made by the forty or so shot that hit him, and it took more than two hours to bring him in to his home, some of the road being very rough and the car being driven as carefully as possible to avoid jolting.
Mr. Wilson is resting as easily as can be expected from the severity of his injury, which prevents him turning over or moving his right leg. It was impossible to remove all of the shot, for to have done so would have necessitated a great deal of cutting, some of them having traveled as much as three inches through the flesh before stopping. The glancing direction taken by the charge is all that prevented some of the shot penetrating to the intestines, if indeed some of them did not. Three shot entered the body above the hip bone, and, though the doctors believe they did not go clear through the abdominal wall, they are not ccitain that they did not and that peritonitis may not set in as a result.
Mr. Wilson had on very heavy clothing, which slowed the shots up some. The right lower side of his hunting coat was riddled and fragments from it and his outer clothing were carried into the wound. Several shot were stopped by cartridges in the pocket of the hunting coat and five wore slowed up enough by the belt he wore not to penetrate far into the flesh.
It was a very narrow escape from instant death. If the charge had struck even an inch higher it is unlikely that Mr. Wilson would have survived.
The accident cast a pall of gloom over Flagstaff. Joe came here when hardly more than a boy and is genuinely admired and loved by everyone in this part of the state who knows him, and there are very few who do not know him. The popularity of both himself and his wife keep his condition uppermost in the thoughts of all our people, who earnestly hope that he will recover and with a minimum of pain. It likely will be a month before he will be able to resume his duties at the bank.
Dr. Mackey, who has practiced dentistry here for about two years and is a close personal friend of Mr. Wilson, is deeply grieved over the matter which everyone feels is one of those unfortunate accidents that sometimes occur in spite of all care and caution.