For several days last week, James Pace, 81, of New Haven, was bothered by a giant raccoon scratching at his door. Eventually, the scratching grew bothersome enough that Pace hatched a plan to stop the raccoon and its scratching for good. So on Sunday, Pace sat by his door, armed with a .22 rifle, waiting for the critter to return.
But before Pace could take his shot, he sneezed and fell from his chair, at which point his rifle discharged. Pace realized he was shot in the leg and quickly “secured the rifle” before calling his son. He suffered a non-life threatening wound to his shin and was treated a nearby Yale-New Haven Hospital.