11 Officers Suspended After Negligent Shooting at Party

A holiday party held by police officers from Prince George’s County took a turn for the worse on Saturday when a personal a weapon was negligently discharged at the gathering accidentally wounding two off duty officers.

Jennifer Donelan, the spokeswoman of the department said:

“We want to get to the bottom of why that gun went off, and so, anybody who was in the house at the time of that happening, they’ve been suspended and now they’re being investigated by our internal affairs.”

While to shooting is still under investigation, Donelan said that it did not appear that the shooting was “sinister” in nature, but did not offer any details of what led up to the shooting.

“It was a holiday party,” she said. “I’m not going to be naive and assume that there wasn’t, but . . . whether or not alcohol was involved is definitely part of that investigation. We want to get down to the bottom of why that gun went off. We are very fortunate that they weren’t seriously injured.”

The two officers were air lifted to a nearby hospital, one with a gun shot wound to his hand and another with bullet fragments from the ricochet, and released early the next morning.

While the shooting happened at a private residence, Donelan would not comment on if the Brandywine home was owned by an officer and if any civilians were present at the time of the negligent discharge.

“We’re handling this investigation as quickly as possible so if there are people who need to get back on the street, we’ll get them back on the street,” she said. “Safety in Prince George’s County has not been compromised.”

This situation highlights the phrase, “Complacency Kills”, meaning those who have been around firearms for long periods of time grow so comfortable with the weapons they fail to keep the 4 firearm safety rules in mind.

  1. Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy
  2. Keep you finger off the trigger until ready to fire,
  3. Treat every gun as if it were loaded
  4. Know your target and what is beyond

If these 4 simple rules had been followed, it is highly unlikely this negligence would have occurred. These officers lived to learn from the mistake, but that is not always the case, as in this news story about a 14-year-old boy in Utah who was accidentally shot and killed while on a drive with his family.

No matter what your experience level, you are never excused from following proper firearm safety procedures.

What do you think of this negligent discharge? Leave us a comment below to let us know.

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