SOLOMON — For the third time this year, a report has surfaced of a person accidentally shooting himself.
Graham County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a residence on the 5000 block of E. Main Street in Solomon at about 11:42 p.m. on Aug. 11 regarding an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound to the victim’s hand.
Upon arrival, a deputy discovered the victim, Ralph Ogas, lying on the living room floor with bloody white towels wrapped around his hand.
Ogas allegedly told the deputy that he was unloading his .45 caliber Ruger pistol when he accidentally switched the safety to fire, and a bullet was expelled when he let go of the gun’s slide. The bullet only grazed Ogas’ hand and was described as a “flesh wound” by paramedics from Southwest Ambulance, who treated Ogas at the scene.
Ironically, Ogas said he was unloading the weapon to make it safer for his company. He said he keeps his pistol loaded with the slide locked back ready to use for protection but unloads it when he has company over, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. After grazing his hand, the bullet hit a concrete wall, sending shards of concrete onto the couch and other pieces of furniture.
During their investigation, deputies came upon a subject sitting on the back porch. The subject was identified as Jerold Fleming, and he said he was staying with Ogas to help him out because he cannot get around so well. Fleming was in a separate bedroom during the incident.
A check revealed Fleming had a warrant for his arrest out of Willcox, and he was taken into custody and booked into the Graham County Jail. Deputies also located a water pipe (bong) with what they described as a crystal methamphetamine pipe attached to it near where they located the gun. Ogas denied knowledge of the water pipe, and it was secured by the Sheriff’s Office.