Gun fired during Mass

A legally carried handgun discharged in the pocket of an attendee at Easter vigil Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday evening. A critical piece of the handgun apparently caught on the man’s pants as he stood up, according to Altoona police officer Christy Heck. The safety apparently was not engaged, she said.

The man, whose identity police did not divulge, was very slightly injured, police said. The bullet grazed the man, who was “beyond lucky,” Heck said.

According to Altoona Police Department Sgt. Marshall Worling, Altoona Police Department administration and Blair County District Attorney officials will do more consulting before deciding whether charges will be filed.

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak and the man declined to comment afterward.

The shot went off shortly before the closing hymn of Mass, according to one parishioner, who added that about 15 minutes after Mass ended, several people comforted two women visibly upset by the shot fired.

It appeared the bullet hit the tile floor, digging slightly into the concrete.