SKOWHEGAN — A 69-year-old man was taken to a Portland hospital over the weekend after he accidentally shot himself in the shoulder while driving near downtown Skowhegan, police said Monday.

Police began receiving calls just before 10 p.m. Sunday about a shot that had been fired near Bloomfields Tavern at 40 Water St., according to Chief David Bucknam of the Skowhegan Police Department.

Officers Alex Burns and Benaiah Willhoit discovered the driver of a 2008 Honda Fit had suffered a wound to his left shoulder.

Police said a preliminary investigation determined Russell Madore of Skowhegan was traveling south on Madison Avenue when his gun discharged. The car came to a stop in the middle of the road, near Bloomfields.

“(Madore) states that he was driving and he leaned over to fidget with his 9 mm handgun, which he didn’t clean properly,” Bucknam said. “There was a round in the chamber.”

The officers provided medical aid until an emergency crew from Redington-Fairview General Hospital arrived. Madore was taken to the Skowhegan hospital and then moved to Maine Medical Center in Portland due to the nature of his injuries, which were not thought to be life-threatening, according to Bucknam.

“Right now, we’re just continuing with the investigation. No charges have been filed,” Bucknam said. “It appears to be an unfortunate accident.”

Officers said they planned to speak with the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office to determine if charges would be filed.

The car and handgun belonged to Madore, according to police. The car was impounded and the gun was taken into evidence.

Shannon Moss, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday she did not have data for the number of people hurt each year in Maine due to accidental gunfire.

Legislation passed this year, however, will have the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Safety begin keeping such information next year, according to Moss.

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