A Kansas man has been shot dead by his dog.

The man, who hasn’t been named, was sitting in the front seat of a pickup truck on January 21, north-northeast of Geuda Springs, when the incident occurred, KAKE reported.

Officers from the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene to find the man had been shot in the back.

The dog had stepped on a rifle that was lying on the back seat. This caused the rifle to discharge and fire right at the man.

He was treated with CPR within minutes of being shot, but he died at the scene, KAKE reported.

Rifle and dog
File photos of a dog and a rifle. A man died after his dog stepped on his rifle and discharged it.
grinvalds / Prostock-Studio

Officers from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Wellington Fire Department were also at the scene.

In comments on KAKE’s Facebook page, some social media users said the man should have ensured the gun was on its safety setting.

But social media user Jimmy White said those comments were hateful, and that he had known the man personally.

“To all the comedians and weapons experts here: This boy was my friend, having been best friends for over 20+ years with his dad. These comments are hateful. I know this family very well and cannot tell you how much their hearts hurt right now. Shame on you,” White wrote.

Newsweek has contacted the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office for a comment.

Rifles, shotguns and handguns can go off accidentally if the safety function isn’t on. This can happen if the gun is bumped slightly.

In Kansas, people must complete a weapons safety and training course to get a gun license. Hunters are also required to be up to date on the importance of gun safety.

Many authorities advise hunters to always treat a gun as if it is loaded.

Incidents like this, involving dogs, are extremely rare. But it has happened before.

In November, a 32 year old man in Turkey was shot after his dog stepped on a shotgun.

The man, Ozgur Gevrekoglu had been out hunting with his friend in the Kızlan Plateau, in the Samsun Province of Turkey, when the animal’s paw touched the loaded weapon as he was being put in a car.

The gun shot at the man from a short distance, and he was later pronounced dead. He had become a father just 10 days before the incident, Turkish news outlet Turkiye reported.

Following the incident, police and prosecutors investigated the death. They didn’t suspect foul play.

Do you have an animal or nature story to share with Newsweek? Do you have a question about this story? Let us know via nature@newsweek.com.

newsweek