'There was so much blood': Rifle blew holes through both his heels in 'freak accident'

Landon Buss has been through four surgeries after hiss rifle fell to the ground and shot holes through both his heels on June 6.
Landon Buss has been through four surgeries after hiss rifle fell to the ground and shot holes through both his heels on June 6. Video screenshot

Landon Buss had just crossed off a few of life's big ticket items when it happened.

He just graduated high school. He married his high school sweetheart, Autumn. They're expecting their first baby.

They were having one of those conversations couples have between two rooms of their home in Lexington, Okla. on the afternoon of June 6.

Landon was in the kitchen. Autumn was in the bedroom. When the gun went off, she said, all she heard for a second was a loud ring in her ears.

"My knees buckled, and I just started to fall," Landon, 18, told McClatchy from his bed at the SSM Bone and Joint Hospital in Oklahoma City. "I didn't realize what had happened for the first couple seconds. Then I looked and my feet and thought, 'Oh, well I've been shot.'"

His Winchester .30-30 caliber rifle had been sitting in a corner of the kitchen loaded for about a day, he said. He told KFOR he had noticed a possible prowler hanging around the couple's home and his mother-in-law's home, on the same property, so he propped it in the corner just to have it close by.

The gun was a wedding gift. It's an older model, and doesn't have a safety on the firing pin, Landon told McClatchy.

Landon Buss, 18, was shot through both heels when his rifle fell on the floor of his home on June 6. Autumn Buss Courtesy

When he opened the refrigerator door as he yelled something to Autumn, the wall shook ever so slightly, and the rifle tipped over toward where he was standing. Landon just so happened to be standing right in the line of fire when it hit the floor and went off.

"It was one of those freak accidents," Landon said.

The bullet went all the way through his right heel and broke apart while inside his left foot, KFOR reported.

"There was just so much blood," Autumn told McClatchy. "His heel really wasn't attached to his ankle anymore. I just kept telling him, 'Don't look anywhere else. Just look at me.' "

The Cleveland County Sheriff's Department confirmed that deputies, as well as paramedics, responded to the call, but authorities quickly concluded that the shooting was accidental.

Autumn grabbed towels to try to stop the bleeding, but said she lacked the upper body strength to tie a good tourniquet. So she took the shoelaces out of a pair of Landon's shoes and tied them around his calves in an effort to minimize the blood loss.

Since being admitted to the hospital, Landon has endured four surgeries already. The latest, Autumn said, was a skin graft. Until the graft heals, the couple won't know how many more surgeries he has ahead of him.

Landon said he had planned to sign on with the U.S. Army this week before he got shot. Now he's just hoping he can walk again within a year or so.

"It changes some things for me, career-wise," Landon said. "But it doesn't change anything fundamental for us. We're strong."

The couple was married on April 21, just weeks before they graduated from Noble High School. A GoFundMe campaign for Landon's out-of-pocket medical expenses had raised less than $1,000 of its $20,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.

Most accidental child shootings could be prevented if gun owners properly secured their weapons with a gun lock, Louisville gun safety activist Luther Brown says.