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June 06, 2015

Charges filed against man whose gun discharged during Easter vigil Mass

Authorities say test proves gun could not have fired accidentally

A man whose gun discharged at crowded Pennsylvania cathedral during Easter vigil Mass has been charged in Blair County with recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, and discharging a firearm within city limits.

20-year-old Matthew Crawford of Altoona was grazed by the bullet discharged by his gun -- for which he had a permit -- in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on April, NBC 10 reports.

In a criminal complaint, authorities said the weapon was not in a holster and the four safeties were not on. There was a bullet in the chamber and a drop test reportedly confirmed that the gun could not have fired accidentally.

The bishop of Altoona-Johnstown diocese said following the incident that he wanted to discourage churchgoers from carrying weapons inside.

Crawford's attorney is expected to seek dismissal of the reckless endangerment charge during a July 1 preliminary hearing.