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Police: Suicidal Man Who Shot Friend Nearly Hit Baby
GREENSBURG, Pa. -- A man tried to commit suicide at a Westmoreland County apartment but ended up blowing off his friend's elbow instead, police said.
During a game of chess at a Greensburg apartment on West Otterman Street, police said Zachary Lucov took out a gun and raised it to shoot himself. His friend, Dennis Kleyn, tried to stop him.
In the struggle, Kleyn had his elbow blown off. Police said the bullet continued through his arm and into the kitchen floor near where Lucov's 9-month-old baby was playing.
Lucov's girlfriend, Carrie Santone, told police the men were playing chess when Lucov started talking about suicide.
"The suspect pulled a Glock 40 up to his head and said he was going to shoot himself," said Capt. George Seranko of the Greensburg Police Department. "That victim grabbed for the gun. There was a scuffle, and the gun went off."
Kleyn was rushed to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, where doctors told him the damage done to his elbow would be permanent.
A woman who identified herself as Lucov's mother was at his arraignment, saying, "It was an accident. The guy's his best friend. He would never hurt him in a million years. It was a stupid accident."
But police said the accident could have been deadly.
"The officer said they were intoxicated, been drinking that night, and some things went wrong," said Seranko.
Lucov is charged with aggravated assault, discharge of a firearm in an occupied structure, reckless endangerment and public drunkenness.