Officer shoots himself in leg


July 1, 2003, 02:54 AM
Anyone know the pistol involved here? I would guess it has a polymer frame and an ultra modern safe trigger such as found on some Austrian pistols and their Massachusetts imitators. However, I may wrong. Clearly, mishandling of the firearm is the culprit here.

Florida parishes bureau

WALKER -- A plainclothes officer accidentally wounded himself as law-enforcement officers surrounded a bank Monday morning.
A bank official called police to report that a man about whom the bank had received an alert from federal authorities was inside.

Walker police and Livingston Parish sheriff's deputies surrounded Hibernia Bank with plans to detain the man as he left, Police Chief Elton Burns said.

"We didn't want to storm into the bank," said Burns, who said police believed the man wanted by federal authorities might be armed.

Joseph Welda entered the bank to protect the employees "in case something went down bad inside the bank," Burns said.

Welda, instructed to hide his badge and weapon, put his 9 mm pistol into his pants pocket, Burns said.

Once inside, Welda said the man in question looked at him suspiciously, Burns said.

Welda reached into his pocket to make sure his pistol was accessible, and the gun went off, striking Welda just below the knee, the police chief said.

At that point, Welda handcuffed the man, thinking there was a federal warrant for the man's arrest, Burns said.

The man, who was unarmed, quickly said he hadn't fired the shot and only put up minor resistance, Burns said.

A bank employee, on the phone with police, reported the shot, and Burns said he ordered officers into the building.

Welda received stitches for the flesh wound, which was several inches long, before being released from a hospital, authorities said.

An inspector from the U.S. Postal Service, which had sent out the alert asking that the man be held for questioning, came to the scene, but said the Postal Service had no warrant or evidence to hold the man, Burns said.

Authorities said they subsequently released the man, whom they didn't identify because he was not booked on any charges.

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July 1, 2003, 02:57 AM
Anyone know the pistol involved here? You know, it really doesn't matter. Cops are the absolute worst when it comes to firearm safety.

July 1, 2003, 03:19 AM
Finger OFF the trigger, at least until you've cleared your own body, Minimum!!

Yes, even for spec-ops gunshop commando types!

Sounds like a weird situation. This plainclothes guy took his gun out if holster and put it into his pocket, to hide it? At the instruction of who? Most plainclothes cops I've known concealed their guns most of the time. I'd like to see anymore information that comes available on this.


July 1, 2003, 03:24 AM
There's a typo in the article.

Where it says:
Welda reached into his pocket to make sure his pistol was accessible, and the gun went off,

it should read:

Welda reached into his pocket to make sure his pistol was accessible, and negligently pulled the trigger,

The four rules apply to everybody. :scrutiny:

Steve in PA
July 1, 2003, 07:53 AM
Probably a glock

Gabby Hayes
July 1, 2003, 08:23 AM
Doesn't anyone see anything else wrong with this picture? The POST OFFICE, of all places, sends out an "alert" to banks, and who knows whom else, about an individual for whom they have no warrant or any type of evidence. The cops show up ready for Iwo Jima. The "suspect" ends up in cuffs, lucky that he wasn't gunned down when the detective shot himself. And for what? The guy probably forgot to put a return address on an envelope. What's happening to this country?

And next year they'll want to raise postage again. Sheesh! :fire:

July 1, 2003, 08:26 AM
I used to think such accidents were unusual but not the case : A friend of mine shot himself with a 1911A1 in the foot while playing "Quick-Draw' in the mirror.
Another friend (NRA instructor and gun shop owner ) shot the phone ,bookcase with his own (super-safe) Colt Gold Cup 45 and it lodged in the wall (in my presence).
A New Milford CT cop (with a sig saur )shot a cat in the dark while investigating a burgler alarm (set off by the cat).
A New Haven CT. mounted patrolman shot a fleeing shoplifter by accedent (with a sig ).
Years ago I had my own accedent where I chambered a round in a P38 and it slam-fired ,I had the gun pionted in a safe direction as the bullet hit the concrete wall in my basement workshop.
Moral of the story : Keep the finger off the trigger but MORE IMPORTAINT - Keep it in a SAFE direction !

July 1, 2003, 09:15 AM
You are right on the money!!! Quantrill

July 1, 2003, 10:08 AM
No, it had to be a 1911!
What is the saying cocked and hot or something like that!

Police are the worst offenders when it comes to safety.
Keep the finger off the trigger until your ready.

July 1, 2003, 12:32 PM
I really don't like to hear people make sweeping statements about other people. I'd rather deal with people as individuals.

But that's just me.

To put this in perspective, though, I really doubt police are the worst offenders when it comes to safety.

I think police forces are made up of individual human beings, just as the ranks of ccw holders are made up of individual human beings.

Some of the individuals, in both categories, are stupid and inept and don't follow the safety rules every time they touch a gun. Such people, LEOs and nonLEOs alike, are accidents waiting to happen.

The reason we hear more about LEO mishaps is twofold.

First, police officers, as a whole, handle their weapons a lot more often than non-police people do. So if an inept cop has a one-in-twenty chance of doing something stupid every time he handles a gun in a stressful situation, and handles his gun under stress twenty times in the course of a year. Whereas, an inept non-cop with that same one-in-twenty chance might wait a lifetime for the unlucky twentieth time.

Secondly, when a police officer does something stupid, it is newsworthy by definition. So we'll all hear about it. When Joe Citizen does something stupid, it may or may not be newsworthy, so we probably won't hear about it.


July 1, 2003, 12:45 PM
When Joe Citizen does something stupid, it may or may not be newsworthy, so we probably won't hear about it.

I don't know, there are quite a few reality shows that are pretty damn popular ;)

July 1, 2003, 12:48 PM
I suspect the plainclothes cop was just that, plainclothes ,not undercover. Secondly, I'll bet he wasn't wearing a jacket, just pants and a shirt. That means he's got a badge clipped on his belt and a gun. To be unnoticed he'd have to remove these items. Was it wise to put the gun in his pocket? No :eek: , but it explaines how this could happen.

July 1, 2003, 03:45 PM
Took the words out of my mouth, Pax.

Edited to add - TheeBadOne is also correct. Plain clothes simply means no uniform - not necessarily 'undercover'. For example, all of our detectives are plain clothes but must ID themselves as police officers by wearing a badge (on the belt) - not like on TV where they pull out a badge wallet when they introduce themselves.

El Tejon
July 1, 2003, 03:50 PM
And people ask me why pocket carry is stupid.:rolleyes:

I don't care if sticking the gun in your pocket is "all you need" in the gun shoppe or ultra cool in the gun rags. It is dangerous, it is stupid, it will get you or others set on fire!

Do not, I repeat, do not carry pistols in your pocket. [end of rant, heavy breathing]

July 1, 2003, 07:35 PM
PAX: I generally agree with your comments about general statements and cops.......Unfortunately in many big cities firearms training is expensive when you have hundreds if not thousands of officers.
My personal experience working directly with New Haven CT cops (and dozens of others through my radio communications work ) is a sorted affair.
Some departments are real big on firearms usage and maintainence , others are so loose its SCARRY !
Once I had to take an officers .38 home to extract the leather stuck to the gun , clean , reblue and oil so he could pass inspection !
One officer had to cease a foot chase because his gun fell out of the holster since the city wouldnt give him a new one with a workin flap.
In the last 30 years Police have become everythin from social workers to you name it ...So you will QUITE often find a lack of firearms training among cops.
In a way(by percentage) the general statement that Cops are often the worst offenders are too true. (compared to trained and experienced civilian sportsmen) .
Most police never even draw their weapon in their duty for years much less shooting someone , so don't expect cops just because they are cops to be well versed on firearms safety .

Standing Wolf
July 1, 2003, 08:42 PM
An inspector from the U.S. Postal Service, which had sent out the alert asking that the man be held for questioning, came to the scene, but said the Postal Service had no warrant or evidence to hold the man, Burns said.

Wrong letter, wrong address.

September 13, 2004, 06:10 PM
I know this is a year old, but I can't help myself-

Gabby: please take a look at this-U.S. Postal Inspection Service (

Standing Wolf
September 13, 2004, 06:50 PM
See? That proves it! Only the police and military are qualified to have guns.

September 13, 2004, 06:59 PM
I'm with Gabby.
This story is nuts. No warrant, no ID, no nothing. They are lucky that a whole bunch of innocent people weren't gunned down in the confusion. At best it is crazy, at worst...well, I think that a little respect for The Constitution of the United States is in order here. They didn't have enough probable cause to even question the guy.

September 13, 2004, 07:02 PM
Well, since this thread is resurrected...

I recently learned that of the 72 federal police agencies, 71 are authorized to carry a gun.

Anyone care to guess which one can't?

September 13, 2004, 07:44 PM
Wow! Where to start?

Standing Wolf- :confused: What are you getting at? Where did I say only the military and LE should have guns?

Shermacman- quite frequently alerts are put out when persons are wanted for questioning. A good example, bad guy A (identity unknown) is cashing checks in the name "John Smith" and has a license in the name "John Smith". Unfortunately, bad guy A has obtained your routing and account information for your checking account . Bad guy A then prints checks with the name John Smith but showing your account information. Bad guy A starts cashing the checks all over town. Once a pattern is developed, an alert goes out for a person using the "John Smith" ID. Not enough for a warrant, but enough to want to question a person.

September 13, 2004, 09:15 PM
The lack of warrant thing sounds like a legitimate miscommunication. Someone is probably gonna get sued.

Lest anyone say that this can be common practice (wink wink, nudge nudge...yeah we though there was a warrant!), consider:

1. If there is no warrant, he goes free. Evidence gathered? Most likely fruit of the poisonous tree.

2. You can and likely will be sued.

Thats not exactly a fun time for all, you know? You get nothing out of it except the possibility of seeing the inside of a courtroom from the defendant's table.

No thanks!


September 13, 2004, 09:20 PM
And yeah, I agree. It probably was a request to do a field interview on the person. As in walk up to him, engage him in conversation, and see what info you can get. A trifle different from an arrest situation. Of course, re-re-reading the original newsblub, its not even clear that they tried to arrest him. I'm guessing that in the confusion of the shot-fired fiasco, they grabbed him until they determined that he didn't do it.


September 14, 2004, 06:40 PM
The notice probably went to area financial institutions. The bank would have then called the police to report that they had someone who was wanted by the feds.

Just a theory.

September 14, 2004, 08:54 PM
Officer shoots himself in leg Again?


Matt G
September 14, 2004, 09:44 PM
The "suspect" ends up in cuffs, lucky that he wasn't gunned down when the detective shot himself. And for what? The guy probably forgot to put a return address on an envelope. What's happening to this country?

What about the recent rash of incindiary letters being sent to heads of government (,%20rigged&query=letter,%20rigged)?

Or anthrax and ricin letters? (,%20anthrax&query=letter,%20anthrax)

Or letter bombers like the unibomber?

Postal inspectors often have some pretty serious work to do.

Last time I called them, it was about checks stolen out of a citizen's mailbox, with his signature forged on them to steal thousands of dollars in government checks from him. These are real crimes.

September 14, 2004, 10:43 PM
Bet it was a glock.

September 15, 2004, 09:47 PM
Thanks Matt G.

September 15, 2004, 10:11 PM
They work a fair amount of kiddie porn too. A fair number of pedophiles dont trust computers and think the net's too risky, so they go postal. Kudos to any inspectors who can put a dent in that action.

Old Fuff
September 16, 2004, 10:46 AM
El Tejon:

We may have a difference in opinion, but then perhaps not.

First of all I agree with you that simply dropping a handgun into a pocket isn't a good idea.

However if the handgun is a double-action revolver, and its carried in a well designed pocket holster that covers the trigger guard I don't see that this mode is particularly stupid or dangerous - I sometimes do it myself. Hopefully I am not dumb, but some might say ...

On the other hand I wouldn't carry a single-action automatic in this mode unless the hammer was fully down, (something that isn't likely) or a Glock or similar style pistol. Glock pistols were never intended to be carried this way.

September 16, 2004, 01:54 PM
Actually. Pax took the words right out of my mouth. It' true that LEOs handle weapons under stressful situtations at least dozens of times a year. The law of averages dictates careless handling of firearms will catch up to them on a more frequent basis than the average CCW. Any reported ND with an LEO involved is always the topic of numerous seemingly endless threads.

Matt G
September 16, 2004, 07:44 PM
Coupla observations I'll make as a cop:

1. Most cops do NOT carry regularly off-duty. They are thus not fully comfortable and adept at carrying and deploying a pistol in and from deep cover.

2. No local department that I personally know of trains in off-duty carry or deployment of firearms. Sure, most require qualification of off-duty guns, but usually proper deployment is not practiced.

3. This cop thus very possibly-- likely even-- deviated from what he had trained for and practiced, attempting something utterly new to him in a live circumstance, when stress was higher than normal. Not just really good odds, there.

4. We hear about cops more because:
[a.] Anytime a cop does something like this, it's newsworthy, and
[b.] Cops in the US are much more likely to be carrying than even CCW/CHL holders. In my experience, even here in Texas, only about 1 in 5 CHL holders is carrying when I make contact with him. [Dismal.] (A local CHL holder that I stopped last week laughed when I asked him: "Are you armed right now? Why not?" He said,"You always say that when you pull me over." But he keeps not carrying!) The incidence of gun faux pas is much more likely to involve a cop.

September 16, 2004, 08:19 PM
I'll bite-
I will carry either a Kahr PM-9, a S&W 342, or an NAA .32 Guardian in a pocket but only in a properly sized pocket holster. I feel okay with that as all three are DAO. I also make sure to have front pockets sized properly to do so.

Given the choice, I carry my Glock G-19 in my duty holster (I work plainclothes).

September 16, 2004, 08:50 PM
No darn wonder why all those police orgs. were against the sunsetting of AWB. It takes a lot of training to bring a LEO on line! Those high caps would be amputating legs from coast to coast. I take it back. The major police orgs. aren't anti-2nd Amendment! They are just trying to protect "the children"! After all, those worker comp. claims are expensive!:D

September 16, 2004, 08:59 PM
MountainPeak- I think I speak for everyone when I say: "Huh?"

September 16, 2004, 08:59 PM
Yup, stick your hand in your pants, and things just "go off"! Nothing more is needed! YUP!? Hell, not even when I was a teenager! :rolleyes:

September 16, 2004, 09:07 PM
KLR, "reached into his pants to make sure his pistol was accessible, and the gun went off"! Perhaps you do speak for everyone, but me.

September 16, 2004, 09:17 PM
It appears to me, that the "LEO ONLY" mags. should have been reserved for the the public only. I'm just suggesting this, for the protection of Police Orgs. and personell throughout the country. I do not want you guys/gals to hurt yourself. Now that the AWB is dead, we, the public, should demand that the Model 10 be mandated for all depts.. It's obviously for your own good.

September 17, 2004, 08:46 PM
Okay, MountainPeak I checked out your previous posts. You don't seem to be a cop basher, so what gives?

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