You are here

Man Who Claimed He Was Shot In Great Smoky Mountains National Park Changes Story


A man who claimed last week that he was shot in the leg while hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has changed his story and now says the shooting occurred outside the park.

Sanford Lethco, 29, of Sevier County, "confessed to park investigators that the gunshot wounds he received to his leg on Friday, September 7, were sustained in an incident occurring outside of the park boundaries, in Sevier County," the park announced Monday.

Mr. Lethco sustained and was treated for two gunshot wounds to the lower leg, wounds that he originally claimed to have received while hiking in the park, off trail, in the Cosby area, park officials said. He was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he was treated, and later released, for his injuries.

The matter now is being handled by the Sevier County sheriff's department.


hmmm... I wonder how the park rangers "persuaded" Mr. Lethco to recant ;-)?

how very typical someone should try to blame a "normal, God-fearing, legal gun owner" for something perpetrated by his wife or he accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun

I don't understand why he would make something like that up. Was he confused about his location but then somehow figured it out later? Is he hiding some shenanigans? This just brings more questions.

I was suspicious of this story from the beginning, but didn't want to comment on someone else's misfortune without really knowing the facts. It is very upsetting to think of an innocent hiker being shot while hiking in one of our national parks. I think we're all a wee bit thankful that it may turn out to be a personal problem.

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide