June 14--WHITEHALL -- Fort Edward Police Chief Walt Sanford will be off duty in the coming weeks after accidentally shooting himself in the hand, Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy said Wednesday.
Sanford was cleaning his personally owned pistol at home in Whitehall on Friday evening when the gun accidentally discharged and wounded his left hand, Murphy said.
The chief went by private vehicle to Glens Falls Hospital where he was treated.
After investigating the incident, the sheriff's office determined the shooting was accidental.
The Glens Falls Post-Star reported Wednesday that police Sgt. Justin Derway will take charge of the department while Sanford is on leave. Derway was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
The incident comes as Sanford was heading the investigation into the death of 13-year-old Gary Cota, who was shot June 5 while hanging out with a friend at his home in Fort Edward.
Police said Wednesday that no new information about the investigation was available.
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