Atkinson recovering after surgery

Sen. Jason Atkinson is recovering from surgery today to repair damage from a gunshot wound to the right leg and is "doing fine," said his father, Perry Atkinson.

The state senator from Central Point was shot after a friend's .38-caliber derringer accidentally discharged Tuesday night, according to Central Point police.

The 37-year-old Republican, who is an avid cyclist, is in the intensive care unit at Providence Medford Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.

"He's doing fine," said Perry Atkinson. "He's stable. He's doing the best he can."

Perry Atkinson, owner of KDOV radio station in Medford, described what happened to his son as a "freak accident."

A 53-year-old Jacksonville man brought his mountain bike over to have it worked on in Jason Atkinson's garage in the 500 block of Blue Heron Drive in Central Point, according to Lt. Steve McGee of the Central Point Police Department. McGee wouldn't release the name of the Jacksonville man.

Atkinson removed a small cloth bag attached to the bicycle, but dropped it and the derringer discharged, said McGee. Atkinson didn't know there was a loaded gun in the bag, McGee said.

After an investigation conducted Wednesday, McGee said there was no foul play involved in the incident.

"It's a very unfortunate accident," said McGee.

Atkinson often works on friends' bikes in his garage. He has placed old campaign signs on the floor to protect it from grease. One of the signs was stained with blood from the accident as a Central Point detective investigated the scene this afternoon.

The garage was filled with bikes and other outdoor equipment.

McGee said it hasn't been determined yet whether the Jacksonville man had a concealed weapon permit. Even if he didn't, McGee said it would be unlikely that he would be prosecuted because the incident took place at a private residence.

Derringers of this type can discharge accidentally because they don't have the same kind of safety as other guns, said McGee. The two-bullet derringer uses a hammer that drives a pin into the bullet, he said. If the hammer is struck by hitting the floor or some other surface, it could fire the weapon, he said.

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