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Thursday, July 3, 2008

[TX] I'd bet child shooting officer's gun is more than a "personnel matter" to mom

...Authorities didn't learn about the incident until the officer's ex-wife called police to tell them what had happened...

Officer under investigation for leaving gun near child Officer suspended, faces investigation after shot reported The Brownsville Herald
By Laura B. Martinez lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com
July 2, 2008
[Excerpts] A police officer is under criminal and administrative investigation following an incident in which he left a loaded handgun within reach of his 10-year-old son who found the weapon and fired it, police said. Authorities didn't learn about the incident until the officer's ex-wife called police to tell them what had happened, Police Chief Carlos Garcia said Tuesday. Child Protective Services was also notified of the report. The officer, a nine-year veteran of the force, was suspended with pay Monday until the investigation is completed, Garcia said. He would not confirm the officer's name because it is a personnel issue, he said... The officer was not arrested at the time of the incident because the supervisor on duty determined it would not be in the best interest of those involved... "We know who (the officer) is and we know where he works," Garcia said. Although he's concerned with the criminal aspect of the incident, the chief said he's more concerned about why the officer left his personal weapon loaded and unlocked, in a place where his children could find it... "That's my concern here. My concern is not putting somebody in jail or making anybody look bad," Garcia said. "My biggest concern here is that someone could have gotten hurt and fortunately nobody did." After the investigation is completed, Garcia will meet with the District Attorney's office staff, to determine if the charges can be upgraded. Garcia will handle the administrative side of the investigation, which will determine what type of disciplinary action the officer could face, including possible termination of employment, he said. [Full article here]

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