A manhunt was launched in Citrus County on Wednesday afternoon when a man told authorities a stranger walked up and shot him.
It turned out Tad Leach accidentally shot himself, deputies said. The manhunt was called off.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office swarmed the area off U.S. 19 in Homosassa with deputies, K-9 dogs and the SWAT team when Leach reported being shot about 10 a.m. The sheriff's helicopter was dispatched, and a mobile command center was set up.
Leach, 38, of Homosassa, initially told deputies that someone walked up to him as he sat in the passenger side of a vehicle, shot him in the leg, then ran off.
He was taken to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Crystal River for treatment. His wife was driving and another passenger was in the back seat.
Hours after the manhunt was launched, deputies said Leach admitted the gun went off accidentally inside the vehicle.
He and his party had traveled to Spring Hill to have a sight mounted onto his gun. On the ride back to Citrus, Leach told deputies the gun went off as he was holstering it.
The Sheriff's Office said it is still investigating why Leach came up with the story in the first place. The Sheriff's Office did not say whether any charges will be filed in this case.
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