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Police: Man shot nephew in leg while teaching him to take apart a gun

ZITER RECKLESS_1_12_2019_5_57_43 PMThumbnail

WATERVLIET -- A Watervliet man is out on bail after police say he accidentally shot his nephew early Saturday morning.

Police said a local hospital contacted them, reporting a young man in the emergency room with a gunshot wound to his leg, which the victim said he had received while in Watervliet.

Further investigation showed that the 20-year-old victim visited his uncle in the early hours of Saturday morning, and the two were drinking and smoking marijuana. After about seven hours of drinking and smoking, police said, the uncle, Ryan M. Ziter, 33, took a couple of handguns out of his safe to show his nephew how to safely disassemble them.

While attempting to take apart a .45 caliber handgun, police said, Ziter allegedly pulled the trigger, not realizing there was a live round in the chamber. The bullet struck his nephew in the lower leg. The victim was taken to Albany Medical Center for surgery, and at last report is in stable condition.

Ziter was charged with Reckless Endangerment in the 1st degree, a class D felony. He was arraigned, and released on bail.

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