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Friday, May 2, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Witness To Events At Firing Range Confirms Death Was Accidental

Seattle Times Staff

BELLEVUE

Police say a witness to an April 21 shooting death at a Bellevue firing range has confirmed what they had speculated: that the shooting was accidental.

Police Lt. Bill Ferguson yesterday said police were wrapping up an investigation of the shooting at Wade's Eastside Gun Shop in which 24-year-old Michael Chumney was killed by a stray bullet.

One witness confirmed to investigators what police think was the scenario:

A 30-year-old Kirkland woman, on a church-group outing with Chumney and others, aimed a powerful .44-caliber revolver downrange as she fired the first shot, but the recoil caused the gun to raise into the air.

When a second round was fired, the recoil pushed the woman's arms back over her shoulder and a third shot, probably a reflex from the recoil, hit Chumney in the neck.

Ferguson said the gun still was being examined by the state crime laboratory, but results from those tests were not expected for at least two weeks.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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