Dale Poulin of Waterville, Maine Hospitalized After Shooting Off Chin

| by Allison Geller

Dale Poulin of Waterville, Maine is now recovering in a Boston hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the face with a hunting rifle on Wednesday.

Poulin, 31, went to see friends and while exchanging hunting stories brought his high-powered, .270-caliber rifle into the house, reported the Portland Press-Herald. He did not realize the rifle was loaded.

The men continued to talk and drink­— Poulin reportedly also brought with him a bottle of whiskey. At one point, Poulin aimed the rifle up to his chin and pulled the trigger.

Police found Poulin with the rifle between his legs and a bullet hole through the brim of his cap, according to the Morning Sentinel. The bullet had gone through the ceiling and entered the attic.

Police determined that it was not a suicide attempt and that no foul play was involved; it was simply a grisly accident.

Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey commented: “It was one of those cases which clearly involved carelessness, passing a rifle around, and no one made sure, obviously, it was not loaded. And then they do something as careless as putting the rifle under their chin and pulling the trigger.”

The bullet completely tore off the bottom of Poulin’s face, Massey told the Bangor Daily News.

“It’s one of those things where you mix alcohol and weapons and start to do very unsafe things, and you end up with a tragedy,” Massey said.

Poulin is reportedly in stable condition. He cannot talk, but he has been communicating with his father, Donald Poulin, by writing.

“He told me he dropped the rifle,” Donald Poulin said. “He wrote it on the notepad. He said, ‘Dad, I just dropped the rifle and it accidentally discharged.’”

Poulin will need facial reconstructive surgery.

Sources: Portland Press-Herald, Morning Sentinel, Bangor Daily News.