Republican Senate Candidate Who Claimed He was Shot While Serving as Navy Seal in Afghanistan, Accidentally Shot Himself, Suggest Documents

Tim Sheehy
Tim Sheehy Facebook

Tim Sheehy, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Montana, claimed he had suffered a gunshot wound while serving as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. However, newly revealed documents suggest that may not have been the case.

The decorated war veteran said he was hit, possibly by friendly fire, by a ricochet bullet during a 2012 firefight. The Washington Post revealed earlier this month that Sheehy reported to officials that he shot himself in the arm three years later when he accidentally discharged a firearm in Montana's Glacier National Park.

Sheehy Said He Made Up Story About Accidentallly Shooting Himself to Protect His Platoon Mates

He told the newspaper he made up the story "to protect himself and his former platoon mates from facing a potential military investigation into an old bullet wound."

However, a written statement from Sheehy to a law enforcement officer obtained by The Post seemingly confirms that he did accidentally shoot himself in 2015 when his Colt .45 revolver fell and discharged in the national park.

"As a highly trained and combat experienced wounded veteran, I can assure you this was an unfortunate accident and we are grateful no other persons or property were damaged," Sheehy said in the statement apologizing for illegally discharging his firearm in the park.The statement was obtained by the Post after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

"Due to my ongoing security clearance and involvement with national defense related contracts, I request leniency with any charges related to this unfortunate accident."

National Park Service Documents Also Reported an Accidental Gun Discharge, $525 Fine Paid by Sheehy in the Park

"A National Park Service summary of the incident, which was also included in the newly released documents, says an unidentified park visitor reported an accidental gun discharge in Logan Pass," the Post reported.

The Park Service documents, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, reveal Sheehy went to a hospital in Kalispell to treat the gunshot wound, and he first spoke to the ranger who responded to the shooting at the hospital. He also paid a $525 fine for illegally discharging his weapon in the national park.

Sheehy now claims the gun never went off, and he told the Post he decided to lie to hospital staff and then the ranger to ensure the older wound would not launch a military investigation that could have harmed the careers of his former platoon mates, according to his campaign and an attorney who represents him.