Police investigating shooting

From Staff Reports
Investigators with the Elizabethton Police Department are looking into an accidental gunshot wound which left a local man critically injured Monday night.
According to reports, Ricky L. Hardin, 26, of 169 Dan Cole Road, was showing a handgun to three other individuals when the gun discharged and Hardin was shot in the head.
Information Hardin's condition was not being released by employees of the Johnson City Medical Center on Tuesday but EPD Det. Ed McGee, who is investigating the incident, stated that on Tuesday afternoon, hospital employees informed him that Hardin was in critical condition.
According to reports, police were dispatched to 411 E. L St. and upon their arrival found Hardin in the driver's seat of a 1989 Ford Bronco with a gunshot wound to the right temple area and Peter Burke holding a towel to the wound.
"According to Mr. Burke, who was standing outside the vehicle at the time of the incident, Mr. Hardin was showing him and Kermit H. Hinkle and Andrew J. Deloach, who were inside the vehicle at the time, a Phoenix semi-auto .22 LR pistol and advised the gun had two safeties and would not go off with one safety off," states EPD Ptl. Shannon Peters in his report.
"At that time according to all three witnesses, Mr. Hardin stated "I'll show you, and put the pistol to his head and pulled the trigger."