An employee of American Custom on Fairchild Avenue who apparently accidentally shot a co-worker Monday night has been charged with assault and illegal possession of a handgun.

Police Chief Gary MacNamara said Bryon Bigelow, 21, brought a gun to the motorcycle parts business where he works and was showing it to a fellow employee when it discharged shortly after 5 p.m. The bullet hit a co-worker, who Bigelow then drove to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport for treatment.

The victim underwent surgery for wounds in the chest and right arm, and was in stable condition Tuesday

According to police Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, the victim was standing in a doorway and had just warned Bigelow to be careful and put the gun away when Bigelow accidentally fired a round.

Bigelow -- who police said had no permit for the weapon -- was charged with first-degree assault, illegal possession of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment and carrying a pistol without a permit. He was released after posting a $25,000 bond.

He told police he found the gun on Beers Street in Bridgeport, where he lives, according to the report. The gun was reported lost in Milford in March 2010.

MacNamara said Bigelow had already taken the victim to the hospital by the time the police arrived at the 265 Fairchild Ave. business. Another employee called police to report the incident. Bigelow was arrested at the hospital. The .40 caliber handgun was found in his car.

He is scheduled to appear Nov. 7 in Bridgeport Superior Court.

"We're just thankful the victim survived," MacNamara said. "This is a clear reminder how dangerous guns are." He said free gunlocks are available at Police Department headquarters, 100 Reef Road.