A former police officer and popular YouTuber recently opened up about the time a rifle exploded in his face and left him partially blind.
“I shouldn’t be standing here,” Kentucky native Scott DeShields Jr. said as he revealed his scars, bandaged face, and hand on his Youtube channel. His channel, known as Kentucky Ballistics, has 1.84 million subscribers.
“I should be six feet under,” he said. DeShields also shared footage of the incident where he “almost bit the dust” due to a hole in his jugular vein and a punctured lung.
By Tuesday, online users had seen the video more than 13 million times. In the clip, users can see the high-powered Serbu RN-50 rifle he was firing exploding, knocking him back. “When I pulled the trigger, the gun exploded almost immediately,” he said of the video.
A steel cap from the gun flew into his face, leaving him with a broken nose, three bones around his eye broke, and temporarily blinding him on the right side. His dad, who was behind the camera, quickly put his thumb in his son’s throat as blood spewed out of his neck where the metal had pierced his vein.
Youtuber, Former Cop Airlifted to Vanderbilt After Rifle Explodes
“If he had not been out there with me, that would’ve been it for me,” he said. His dad got him into their truck and went to get help.
On the way, the former cop also kept his thumb in the hole and dialed 911 to call an ambulance. “I focused on my kids, and I fought as hard as I could,” he said. Once they arrived at the hospital, he was airlifted to a specialist unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
“The Trauma Team saved my life,” he began in an Instagram post. “They cut open my rib cage completely to remove the shrapnel, repair my lung and repair my jugular vein.” He also suffered broken ribs and bones in his hand.
Eight days later, DeShields Jr. finally left the hospital. After reflecting, he insists that it was just a “freak accident” and vowed to keep making videos.
“I’m not gonna quit doing what I love because of a freak accident,” he said. “There’s nothing that can keep me from continuing on. I love what I do.”
The rifle designer, Mark Serbum, also released a clip to “assure people that the RN-50 is a safe gun … regardless of, yeah, it blew up and almost killed a guy.”
“Guns blow up every day, but it’s not talked about a lot,” Serbu said. He added that the detonation of a “screwy” round “would have blown up any gun.”