Costco nearly cleared by accidental gunshot Thomas Clouse Staff writer December 21, 2006 A man dropped his new pistol in the bathroom of the North Division Costco today, and nearly emptied the store as frightened shoppers fled after hearing the gun fire when it hit the floor. The bullet lodged in the wall and no injuries were reported, Spokane County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan said. “He was a little embarrassed and didn’t want to come out of the bathroom right away,” Reagan said of the man, who has a concealed weapon’s permit. Deputies responded to the store when employees called to say an armed man had fired a shot at about 12:15 p.m., Reagan said. ADVERTISEMENT “A customer was just outside the gunman’s stall when he heard the shot. He looked over the top of the stall, saw the shooter fumbling with the pistol and alerted employees who began evacuating the building,” Reagan said in a press release. The man’s pistol was a new Sig-Sauer .357 caliber semi-automatic that the man had been carrying in a shoulder holster. Reagan did not identify the man. While pulling up his pants, the man’s shirt somehow caught on the gun’s handle and pulled the gun out of the holster, Reagan said. Although the gun is designed not to fire unless the hammer is cocked, the pistol discharged when it hit the floor. Deputy Mark Smoldt said man did nothing that would constitute a law violation and he suggested the man return the gun to the manufacturer to have it checked for an apparent malfunction, Reagan said. The bullet went into a wall that separates the men’s bathroom from Costco’s automotive service area. “However, the bullet did not penetrate the wall, possibly because the ammunition was at least seven years old,” Reagan said.