Pastor Shot During Firearms Safety Class

Pastor Shot During Firearms Safety Class

( 4UMF NEWS ) Pastor Shot During Firearms Safety Class:

A California pastor is recovering after being blasted by a shotgun during a firearms safety class.

Tom Smith, a pastor at The House Modesto, was shot in the waist after an instructor mistook his real gun for a training gun on Dec. 5.

Smith was attending a class run by Phillip Rushing at the Personal Protection Institute in Modesto. The pastor had volunteered to play the role of a knife-wielding attacker armed when Rushing accidentally shot him, The Modesto Bee reports.

"During the scenario, the instructor drew the firearm and it accidentally discharged," Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves said. "When it fired and he realized what happened, he immediately dialed 911."

During the class, Rushing had been using a training gun, but removed that prop from his holster and replaced it with his real handgun just before the accident.

Smith, who runs the Family Strong program at the church, was rushed by ambulance to an area hospital and underwent surgery.

"We're just extremely grateful that he's OK, that he's alive, and I know a lot of people are wondering what's happened to him," Pastor Chuck Cutsinger told

"He's actually doing really well for what happened. He's getting his strength back."

In a post shared on Facebook, the church wrote: "Pastor Tom Smith, we love you and we are praying for you!"

Police have not charged Rushing and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office is investigating. Classes at the Personal Protection Institute have been suspended until further notice.