Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally possessing firearms after accidentally shooting himself in the leg during an assault against his mother.

Matthew H. Coy, 33, of Independence, was charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. The federal indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed against Coy on Aug. 16, 2016.

The indictment charges Coy with two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms. Coy allegedly possessed a Charter Arms .44-caliber revolver and a Taurus .357-caliber revolver on Aug. 11, 2016.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Independence police officers were dispatched to Coy’s residence in response to reports of a shooting-related incident. When officers arrived, Coy was seated on the front porch of the residence, holding his left leg and moaning from the pain of a gunshot wound to the leg. Coy told officers that his mother, who was present at the residence along with Coy’s 2-year-old and 5-year-old children, had shot him in the leg. Coy was transported to a medical facility for treatment of his injury.

Officers saw a large amount of blood on the floor of the living and in the garage of the residence. According to the affidavit, they found the loaded firearms in the garage. The Charter Arms revolver, according to the affidavit, was loaded with one spent cartridge and had likely been fired.

Coy’s mother, who was observed to have suffered obvious and visible injuries to her forehead and to her left shoulder area, told officers that Coy had assaulted her and accidentally shot himself in the leg. Coy had been residing with her at the residence since his release from prison.

According to the affidavit, his mother told officers that Coy was acting in a “paranoid” manner and had pointed a handgun at her in an angry, threatening manner. Coy shoved her to the floor, the affidavit says, and kicked her in the rib cage area repeatedly.

Coy then forced his mother into a chair, the affidavit says, and struck her in the head with the handgun. He repeatedly placed the handgun to her right temple, the affidavit says, and exclaimed in an angry, threatening manner, “You think I’m playing?! You’re going to make me do this in front of my kids?!” Coy’s children entered the kitchen and observed the incident as it continued, the affidavit says, resulting in Coy escorting the children to a bedroom of the residence. His mother told officers that she heard a gunshot and was contacted by Coy, who stated he had shot himself and was in need of medical care. Coy’s mother fled to a neighbor’s residence and summoned police for assistance.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Coy is charged as an armed career criminal due to his prior felony convictions.

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Press release from the United States Attorney's Office: Western District of Missouri