Police say a 34-year-old Eau Claire man shot his friend after a night of drinking.
Anthony S. Bedard, 4400 LaSalle St., No. 60, was charged Monday in Eau Claire County Court with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, third-offense operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and possessing a firearm while intoxicated.
According to the criminal complaint:
At about 4:26 a.m. Saturday, Eau Claire police were called to Mayo Clinic Health System after a patient with a gunshot wound was admitted.
The injured man told an officer he and Bedard had consumed alcohol throughout the evening while traveling to different locations. They ended the night by sitting in Bedard's vehicle in the parking lot south of the Wigwam Tavern, with Bedard in the front passenger seat and the man in the driver's seat.
The man said Bedard produced a handgun, and while handling it, the weapon discharged, shooting the man in the right thigh.
The man told police Bedard called the Eau Claire City-County Communications Center but hung up. The man said Bedard tried to convince him to allow him to care for the wound. However, the victim insisted Bedard take him to the hospital because he couldn't drive with the injury.
An officer found a spent .45-caliber ammunition brass in the car underneath the passenger seat, along with two other guns, but the gun that fired the round wasn't there.
Bedard was seen on surveillance video with a pistol in his hands outside the emergency department. He returned to the vehicle a short time later without the gun, which eventually was located buried in the dirt in the 200 block of Randall Street.
Bedard initially claimed he had no weapons and didn't know how his friend had gotten shot.
Bedard was unable to successfully perform field sobriety tests. A preliminary breath test revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.98.