Reading man speaks out about accidental shooting inside grocery store

Published: Nov 08 2013 05:30:31 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 08 2013 06:22:36 PM EST
READING, Pa. -

The man who accidentally shot himself inside a Reading supermarket Thursday said he made a big mistake.

Giovanni Ruiz was standing in the checkout line at C-Town Supermarket, in the 600 block of Greenwich Street, when he reached in his pocket for his wallet and his gun went off.

Not only was it a terrifying moment for him, but also for his 6- and 10-year-old children who were standing by his side.

"Very, very scared because when I heard the gun shot, I did not know what to think, and then my dad just fell to the floor," said Jonathan Fernandez, the shooting victim's son.

Ruiz used to be a police officer in Honduras. He said he has carried a gun with him for the last 19 years for protection. He said it is the first time something like this has ever happened to him.

"Two or three years ago they came through my house. They took everything. That is why I carry a gun because you know the world right now. There is a lot of bad people outside and you never know," Ruiz said.

His children, Ruiz said, are normally right by his side, but they took a few steps toward the clerk to get a sticker. That is when the gun went off. Family members said they are grateful the children were not in the line of fire.

"I am just glad it was not worse," said the victim's son, Giovanni Fernandez.

"I am very thankful he is OK," said Jonathan Fernandez.

Ruiz said the accidental shooting taught him a big lesson.

"My mistake is that I left my gun in my pocket. I am not supposed to carry my gun in my pocket. That is my big mistake," said Ruiz.

Ruiz has a permit to carry the gun. Police told us it is safest to carry a gun in a holster.