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Burlington – A Burlington man is being held on several felony charges after he “accidentally shot” his wife in the leg, but she disagreed with that assessment.

Salvador Sanchez, 43, was charged Wednesday by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, second-degree recklessly endangering safety (domestic abuse assessment), and negligent handling of a weapon abuse assessment. 

If convicted of all charges, Sanchez faces up to 14 years three months in prison. 

Accidentally shot, wife disagreed with husband’s assessment

According to the criminal complaint, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of shots fired at 6:37 p.m. Tuesday at a residence in the 35400 block of Ridge Road.

During the investigation, Sanchez told police that he “accidentally shot his wife” with his new gun. He explained that one of the bullets jammed and the gun went off, which struck his wife in the left leg. 

At Burlington Memorial Hospital, staff addressed the woman’s injuries. They told deputies that they didn’t find a bullet or fragment, but they were “confident that the hole was from a bullet,” and there was no exit wound. Due to the angle of the wound, they reported that someone stood over the woman and shot her. 

“I didn’t think this was an accident,” she told the doctors when responding to questions.

During an interview with deputies, the woman said Sanchez received a new pistol magazine in the mail. She laid down in her bedroom because she wasn’t feeling well. Sanchez came into the bedroom. 

He laid across the bed with his head near her legs and his legs toward the right side of the bed, according to the criminal complaint.

On the phone with her sister, she noticed that Sanchez held a pistol with the new magazine.

“(The woman) states that she was focused on her phone call when she heard a loud bang, and instantly felt extreme pain in her left leg,” the complaint reads.

Sanchez did not threaten her and never feared for her safety until now, she told the deputies.

Another family member ran into the room and commented about how Sanchez was not helping his wife. She limped out of the bedroom to drive herself to the hospital. The woman called her mother to come to the house to help her. While waiting, Sanchez followed her, told her he wanted to help her and that the shooting was an accident.

The woman told deputies she did not feel safe around Sanchez.

Next steps

Sanchez appeared in court on an initial appearance on Wednesday where Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set a bond of $400. Sanchez remains in custody in the Racine County Jail. An initial appearance was set for 9:15 a.m. Aug. 12.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.