Florida Man Accidentally Shoots Himself in the Leg While Playing Cowboy, Police Say

A 36-year-old Florida man was arrested last weekend for criminal possession of a firearm after telling deputies he sustained a gunshot while "playing cowboy."

Convicted felon Matthew Lee Noffsinger Jr., of Hudson, shot himself in the leg with a .22-caliber handgun and was later found to be illegally possessing four credit cards that were not his own, according to an arrest report released by the Pasco Sheriff's Office (PSO) yesterday.

The suspect was detained by deputies December 14 and transported to Land O' Lakes Detention Centre on a $10,150 bond, as reported by WFST.

According to law enforcement, deputies made contact with the suspect after he was admitted to a hospital with a gunshot wound. Noffsinger Jr. initially claimed he had been "shot by an unknown subject" while in a wooded area. But his story quickly fell apart.

The man had "an entrance wound and exit wound straight down his leg" that were not consistent with his story and soon admitted to not being truthful.

"The defendant then stated he lied to us and he advised he shot himself in the leg by accident," the PSO arrest report said. "The defendant advised he lied at first because he is a convicted felon and knows he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm or shoot one. The defendant stated he was 'playing cowboy' with a .22 revolver when it accidentally discharged."

Deputies found the gun at the location of the shooting in Joshua Lane, Hudson. A background check on the suspect confirmed he has convictions in Hernando County and Citrus County.

A consensual search of Noffsinger's vehicle resulted in deputies finding a backpack on the back seat the suspect admitted to owning. Inside, officials said they found a wallet that contained four credit credit cards and one personal identification card that did not belong to Noffsinger Jr.

He claimed to have found the cards. He was detained on two charges: felon in possession of a firearm (felony) and processing the personal information of four persons (misdemeanor).

"While en route to the jail the defendant made an excited utterance that he only shot the firearm three times and he knows he was not supposed to," the report said. More information about the owners of the credit cards, and if they were reported stolen, was not immediately available.

The Pasco Sheriff's Office has been contacted for comment.

In Florida, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years probation or a $10,000 fine, according to law firm Richard Hornsby.

"If convicted of Actual Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, a judge is required to impose a minimum-mandatory sentence of three-years in prison, a fact-sheet explains.

Matthew Lee Noffsinger Jr.
Matthew Lee Noffsinger Jr., of Hudson, shot himself in the leg with a .22-caliber handgun and was later found to be illegally possessing four credit cards that were not his own, police said. Pasco Sheriff’s Office
Florida Man Accidentally Shoots Himself in the Leg While Playing Cowboy, Police Say | News