54-year-old Michael Deel, of Roanoke, Virginia, and his wife, 49-year-old Michelle, were taking a gun safety course at a private home in Bedford, VA. The instructor told police he left the room for a moment when he heard a gunshot. He returned to find the couple had been injured.
Michael was holding a .45-caliber handgun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon. The bullet hit him in the hand then passed through his hand and struck his wife in the leg. The couple was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Deel called the shooting a "stupid accident."
Reports did not indicate why the couple was taking the course. No firearm safety training is required in Virginia before purchasing a gun, but safety training is required in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit. However, as of 2009, Virginia residents may fulfill the gun safety requirement through an on-line course, such as the one at The Concealed Carry Institute. The course consists of "65 minutes of our time-tested handgun safety class, followed by a 20 question test." The course does not require that you ever actually hold or fire a gun, but is enough to get you a permit to carry a loaded, hidden gun in Virginia.