A Glen Ullin man faces a felony charge for allegedly firing a gun through a floor and striking a woman in a downstairs room.
James Siegrist, 32, was charged Friday with Class C felony reckless endangerment and Class A misdemeanor false information to law enforcement. He is scheduled to make a court appearance on the charge on Sept. 4.
According to an affidavit from Morton County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Thomas, deputies were called to St. Alexius Medical Center on July 25 for a report of a gunshot victim. The woman said she had been at Siegrist’s Glen Ullin home working on flooring with two other people. She was watching television in a downstairs basement when she heard what sounded like something being dropped, followed by feeling a searing pain in her left leg.
A doctor told the deputies a bullet had gone through the woman’s upper left leg but did not hit any arteries or bone.
Siegrist had attorney Justin Vinje set up an interview with him on July 27. He told deputies he was working in an upstairs bedroom when he heard a shot from an upstairs office. Siegrist told them he didn’t report the shooting because he thought it was considered an accident.
He would not answer questions about the gun involved in the incident. Siegrist is a convicted felon, having been convicted of counterfeiting and forgery. Vinje later told officers the gun belonged to Siegrist’s wife, Thomas’ affidavit said.
Siegrist allowed deputies to search his house with Vinje present, which they did on Aug. 1. They determined the bullet had gone through the floor of the upstairs office.
Thomas wrote in the affidavit that the handgun involved, which Vinje turned over to them on Aug. 2, had a thumb safety and grip safety. The grip safety had to be depressed for the gun to fire, making it unlikely that the gun could be accidentally discharged by dropping it, Thomas wrote.
Vinje called deputies later and said Siegrist had told him the truth about the incident. Siegrist told them he and another man had been working in the office when he found his wife’s gun. Siegrist said he checked the chamber to make sure the gun wasn’t loaded, then pulled the trigger.
“Siegrist told me he fully accepts that what he did was wrong and expects criminal charges,” Thomas wrote. Siegrist said he would pay the victim’s medical expenses, Thomas wrote.