Gun Show Mishap


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nosualc
February 22, 2009, 10:31 AM
http://wcco.com/local/gun.show.accident.2.940514.html

There was another thread about this earlier that was shut down. My buddy and I were 20 feet away from this when it happened. To clarify some speculation here:

The ND occurred outside the door of one of the large rooms at the MPLS convention center. A very large venue; there were other shows going on at the time (a Pet expo, and some kind of cheerleading competition/show). There were at least 100 people within 50 yards.

The policeman (in uniform, but off-duty) was sitting behind a table at the door. A guy who had a short pump action shotgun was leaving the show, and stopped at the table (this is the only reason I made notice, this is outside the show, no guns in sight, except this guy).

Next, there was a very loud BOOM. Everybody stops looks. Silence. The policeman says something to the effect of "hey, is that thing loaded?" to the guy with the shotgun. The guy with the shotgun says "hey, it wasn't me!"

Now everybody notices the cloud of blue smoke appearing from under the table around the policeman. With a **** look on his face, he pulls out his still smoking pistol and puts it on the table (covering us all with the barrel BTW), then realizes that on top of the table is not a good spot and puts it back underneath.

If somebody was injured, it was not apparent at this time. Nobody said so much as said OUCH. Stunned silence, but nobody at this point noticed they were hurt.

How did it happen? I don't know. I do know that the policeman was as surprised by the discharge as anybody else; to the point where he didn't even realize it was his weapon at first. I interpret this to mean he wasn't fiddling with it or holstering it. The story that this was a true accident is plausible. Only the policeman knows for sure.

My buddy and I went into the show. Most of the people inside the show didn't even hear it. An hour later my buddy went outside to have a smoke and said there were a bunch of police, the CSI folks, all around the cordoned off scene. They were still there two hours later. Clearly the police department viewed the incident as worthy of attention.

I am pleased to see the local media didn't go ape***** over it. I expect the shrillness and intensity of the coverage would have been far greater if discharge had been from a civilian.

-nosualc

ps - The pistol was a semi-auto, looked like a smith-wesson. It was all metal. Action and cartridge unknown.

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kingpin008
February 22, 2009, 11:34 AM
I'm sorry, guns just don't go off accidentally. If it was the officer's pistol, I'm betting he was fiddling with it (either in the holster or out of it) and managed to activate the trigger. Otherwise, there's no way it would have just fired by itself.

kirkcdl
February 22, 2009, 12:34 PM
The media didn't go AS over it because it happened to the only person in the area qualified to handle loaded firearms...

cassandrasdaddy
February 22, 2009, 12:38 PM
you see what kinda holster? exposed trigger guard?

larry_minn
February 22, 2009, 12:49 PM
Some (realistic) assumptions would be. IF he was in Uniform he would have duty holster? Duty holsters as a rule do NOT cause guns in holster to go off by themselves. $10 Sporting goods store holsters do not cause loaded guns carried in them to go of by themselves.
I have had many varied holsters over yrs. From Leather WW II 1911 full flap to plastic Glock sport, Serpa, Fobus and many cheap to $100 along the way. Gun has always been carried "hot" after a trial period to make sure I was comfortable with holster/no issues. (never had one but I dislike idea of shooting myself) So I would carry chamber empty/safety off (if it included one) I always figured a safety COULD be forgotten/bumped off. Never had a hammer/striker/etc trip when I was not pulling trigger.

nosualc
February 22, 2009, 12:52 PM
I know guns just don't go off by themselves, but if he were holstering it or fiddling with it, I don't think he would have been so slow to realize it was his own weapon that went off. You never know I guess.

I did not see the holster. The officer was seated at the time. After the discharge, he turned his gunside away from us and was kneeling behind the table.

-nosualc

kingpin008
February 22, 2009, 12:59 PM
I know guns just don't go off by themselves, but if he were holstering it or fiddling with it, I don't think he would have been so slow to realize it was his own weapon that went off.

On the contrary - if you're just absentmidedly fiddling with something (especially a firearm) chances are you don't even really realize that you're doing it. I can see an individual being extremely suprised when it suddenly goes boom.

nosualc
February 22, 2009, 01:04 PM
It took this guy about 5-10 seconds to figure it out.

-nosualc

kingpin008
February 22, 2009, 01:11 PM
So?

He surely wasn't expecting it (if he was, he's an idiot and shouldn't be allowed around guns) and he was surrounded by hundreds of firearms that could also have been the source of the shot. It's a shocking thing to be present when a gun is fired unexpectedly. Five or ten seconds is not that long in such a situation.

BCCL
February 22, 2009, 01:24 PM
Or he knew instantly it was his gun, and was hoping to pass the blame off on the guy with the shotgun.

kingpin008
February 22, 2009, 01:33 PM
Good point. Either seem quite possible.

Tommygunn
February 22, 2009, 01:38 PM
Query:

If a holstered gun was to go off, would the wearer not be made immediatly aware of it simply by recoil, regardless of where his "booger hook" was at the time?

jakk280rem
February 22, 2009, 01:49 PM
thanks for your eye witness account. it helped clarify some things. but there is still to little information to lambast the police officer. two questions; what kind of chair was the police officer sitting in? cheap folding lawn chair or...? and where were the cops hands? were they above the table or below?

can anyone post a link to a news story about this?

wild speculation time: perhaps seeiny the man with a shotgun, the only armed person in view at the time, he placed his hand on his duty weapon. perhaps sitting in the chair with his full duty belt had caused the holster, and gun, to shift to an uncomfortable or precarious position, i.e., the gun was about to fall out. a gun goin off while sitting is not unheard of.

pbearperry
February 22, 2009, 01:53 PM
if the cop turned his holster side away and was kneeling behind a desk,rest assured he was trying to reholster the gun he was playing with.I truly believe the USA is going through a dumbing down process that skips no occupations.

nosualc
February 22, 2009, 02:02 PM
I did not see the chair. It was behind the table. I could only speculate. Prior to the discharge, I wasn't watching him closely enough to say where his hands were.

The only news account I can find is the link above. The local fishwrap factory didn't mention it.

I'm not trying to villify or vindicate the officer. I'm only relaying an event I personally witnessed that I thought ya'll might find interesting. It certainly made for an interesting show (which was not noteworthy otherwise). Glad nobody was seriously hurt.

-nosualc

kirkcdl
February 22, 2009, 05:40 PM
Rereading the link,it seems that a retired officer,also working show security,was hit by bullet fragments...

sturmgewehr667
February 22, 2009, 11:16 PM
only person in the area qualified to handle loaded firearms...

obviously not

usmarine0352_2005
February 23, 2009, 12:13 AM
.
Or he knew instantly it was his gun, and was hoping to pass the blame off on the guy with the shotgun.




Yeah, that would have worked. No one would figure that out.


:uhoh:


.

jakemccoy
February 23, 2009, 05:18 AM
Weird, I wonder what really happened.

I_AM_LEGEND
February 23, 2009, 12:20 PM
20 bucks says he had his booger hook in the trigger guard fingering it...

larry_minn
February 23, 2009, 01:32 PM
Well reading this. The only (close to) reasonable explanations I can see are.
1. he was playing with his gun under the table. (and not the one for fun)
2. He felt the person with the shotgun comming toward table might be a threat so he drew (possibly without even realizing it) and when he realized no threat he reholstered with finger on trigger.

I can't be the only one who has had a gun "appear" in my hands. I saw person get shot/I realized I had him (shooter) at gunpoint. I have no memory of deciding to draw, removing cover garmet/draw/aim.
Those are the two options (based on limited 3rd hand info) I can see as reasonable. Either that or the Brady campain might have found a "gun that will go off on its own."

Geneseo1911
February 23, 2009, 03:15 PM
That's why Andy always made him carry the bullet in his pocket....

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 23, 2009, 03:37 PM
But I'm confused again (happens a lot), because Sarah Brady keeps telling me that only the police and military should have handguns, because of their special higher level of training.


"Something like this, it's purely an accident [i.e. no negligence]. We've got the -- [we're] checking the holster to see if there's any malfunctions, checking the gun to see if there's any other malfunctions," said Sgt. Jesse Garcia with the Minneapolis Police Department.

"You know, with the amount of equipment we wear sitting in cars with seatbelts and things like that, we're lucky this doesn't happen more often," he added.

Oh that's rich. Any OTHER malfunctions. Praytell what was that FIRST malfunction with said gun, other than the nut behind the trigger screwing with it?

The security guard will not be disciplined. Police say he was sitting down and leaning back in a chair when his holster got caught and the gun discharged. People at the show said they were surprised it happened.

That's a lie. If the gun discharged under those circumstances, the chief would be clamoring for a recall, and free replacements/upgrades from the manufacturer.

MinnMooney
February 23, 2009, 03:58 PM
Wow. Everyone sure seems to know what happened. the only one being non-judgemental and not jumping to conclusions is the original poster WHO WAS THERE!

The story that this was a true accident is plausible. Only the policeman knows for sure.

How very true. The cop didn't even know it was his weapon that discharged!

JWF III
February 23, 2009, 04:20 PM
2. He felt the person with the shotgun comming toward table might be a threat so he drew (possibly without even realizing it) and when he realized no threat he reholstered with finger on trigger.

Though this is plausable, I highly doubt it. I mean, this was at a gun show. There were probably 100+ firearms that went through those doors that day.

I've been to many shows over the years, although I have slowed down in recent years, I've never seen an officer/SG even lay his hand on his sidearm out of (possible) threat. They know that guns are going to be there, and that they need to take extra precaution in determining a threat.

I too wonder about the holster, exposed trigger? I doubt it being a duty holster. Uncovered muzzle? If it wasn't, it is now.

Good thing no one was seriously hurt. Both for the crowd, and the cop. He'd hate to have a serious inquiry into this happening.

Wyman

because it happened to the only person in the area qualified to handle loaded firearms...

Yeah, I've heard that one before. Now were was it...? No I don't need to see it again!

nosualc
February 24, 2009, 01:49 PM
I am one who believes that if the gun was in good working order there is no such thing as an accidental discharge.

If the officer was handling it and it went off, that is clear inexcusible negligence. If something on the chair somehow freakily interacted with the gun and caused it to discharge as they're claiming, then the negligence is still there but of a lesser degree (eg - what kind of bs holster set-up could allow that?).

The only one who can truly know what happened is the officer. There's a chance that even he doesn't really know what really happened.

OK, so nobody was really hurt, and the other guy who was slightly injured was a retired officer, and he decided he didn't want to make a stink. They call it an accident, it'll blow over in a day or two, everybody's happy.

After a few days to think about it, what bothers me the most is accident or not, if it had been me (or you), there would have been serious legal consequences. Reckless discharge of a firearm in the city limits at minimum. The fact that somebody else was mildly injured by bullet fragments would probably also add on assault with a deadly weapon charges, not to mention potential civil court issues.

For me (or you) there would have been jail, loss of CCW, court, fines, public embarassment (ok, the officer had this), and/or civil law issues.

I have nothing but respect and gratitude for for the police (you'll note I don't even like to use the word 'cop' in my posts). I'd be the last one to villify a policeman for making a mistake, but shouldn't he bear the same consequences as anyone else?

-nosualc

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