Man ate shotgun shell before entering Alabama jail, cops say


A bizarre public service announcement was released this week by a northern Alabama jail after an inmate swallowed a shotgun cartridge.

Morgan County Jail Photo

An unorthodox public service announcement was posted to social media this week by a northern Alabama prison, and it was prompted by an equally bizarre prison incident.

Apparently, a suspect swallowed a potentially explosive object before being taken to Morgan County Jail in Decatur, officials said.

“Today’s PSA… before being arrested, we recommend that potential inmates avoid swallowing a shotgun cartridge before their visit,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

“Yes… we have as many questions as you do. “

The .410 shotgun cartridge was discovered inside a suspect during his incarceration, officials said. According to, these shells “are one of the smallest gauges in shotgun ammunition, but have enough horsepower to take out pests and small game.”

The name of the suspect and the charges were not disclosed.

“Inmates go through our body scanner before checking in… which catches interesting objects… like a shotgun cartridge,” the sheriff’s office wrote.

“It’s a body scanner like the ones used at an airport,” they added in a comment.

Prison medical staff took the man to hospital after the discovery, a spokesperson for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office told WHNT station. The suspect received medical treatment and was subsequently released, the department said in an update.

Details of how the shell was removed have not been shared.

The PSA was posted to Facebook on Wednesday where it received nearly 1,500 reactions and comments, including questions about whether gas could be a dangerous weapon when combined with the potency of gas. fire arms. Others wondered if the compounds in certain laxatives could ignite a shotgun cartridge. Several made jokes about “hidden weapons”.

“Ammunition is quite expensive these days. I would like to keep it too, ”wrote one commenter.

“I hope he doesn’t have explosive diarrhea,” said one woman.

“Fuck you kid,” posted another.

The sheriff’s office said the body scanner was installed in the prison in early 2020 and led to other unexpected findings, including “non-metallic items.”

This story was originally published October 22, 2021 5:44 am.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering topics such as schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness, and non-profit organizations. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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