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Rifle discharges during cleaning in Fargo apartment

Fargo police said the accidental discharge of a rifle Monday night in a south Fargo apartment building is a reminder of why firearms shouldn't be cleaned inside apartments.

No one was hurt when the Bushmaster .223 discharged at about 10:30 p.m. at 4410 9th Ave. S., Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

The tenant, who was in the apartment with his brother, decided to clean the rifle and removed the magazine but failed to eject the chambered round, Lykken said, adding that the rifle apparently had to be dry-fired as part of the cleaning process.

The discharged bullet flew down a hallway, through a toilet and into a closet before becoming lodged in a Sheetrock wall, Lykken said.

The residents in the adjacent apartment were home at the time but were OK, he said.

The police report will be forwarded to the city attorney's office for review, and the rifle's owner could face a charge of discharging a firearm within city limits, Lykken said.

Cleaning a firearm in an apartment building "certainly creates a dangerous situation," he said.

"We train to always point your firearm in a safe direction, and there is no safe direction when you're in an apartment," he said. "It's better to clean your firearms in your garage."