38-year-old Charles Lacy was a Special Forces soldier stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado. He was sitting in a recliner cleaning a gun when he unintentionally discharged the weapon. The bullet hit him in the knee.
Lacy was taken to the local hospital where he died of his injuries.
"Anybody else should have survived a shot in the knee," said a police spokeswoman. "But this hit his artery. It was just a tragic accident."
Lacy had received numerous commendations during his military career. His deployments included Niger and Haiti.