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Hempfield man who shot himself in the mouth charged with endangerment

Paul Peirce
| Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, 11:30 a.m.

A 50-year-old Hempfield man who accidentally shot himself in the mouth with a 9 mm handgun while drinking beer with friends in a Greensburg apartment in July is charged with reckless endangerment.

City police allege David A. Ballew of Armbrust endangered two other people in an apartment on the 700 block North Main Street before the incident about 4:18 p.m. July 22.

Detective Charles Irvin wrote in an affidavit that Ballew and John Shook were drinking a 12-pack of beer at Denise Glick's residence when Ballew pulled a handgun out of his waistband.

“Once inside, (Ballew) took out a gun and started pointing it at everyone. Glick stated she initially thought the gun was fake,” Irvin wrote in court papers filed before Senior District Judge James Albert.

“Dave then placed the gun in his own mouth and it went off,” Irvin quoted Glick as telling investigators.

Shook told Irvin that he didn't realize Ballew had a gun, but watched him pull it from his waistband, point it at him and say, “Watch this.”

Shook told police that Ballew then put the gun in his mouth and accidentally pulled the trigger.

The bullet lodged in the ceiling, police said.

Irvin said Glick and Shook provided first aid to Ballew until paramedics arrived and took him to Excela Health Westmoreland hospital in Greensburg.

Ballew's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9 before Albert.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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