Firing of officer’s gun in Janesville school “unintentional, unique,” JPD says
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The investigation into the firing of a police officer’s gun at a Janesville middle school determined the incident was “unintentional, unique, and isolated,” the police department reported Friday.
The gun went off on September 19 at Edison Middle School, the JPD statement recounted. JPD investigators have since concluded the best possible explanation is a backpack strap caused the gun to fire. According to the police statement, prior to the firearm going off the strap got hooked accidentally to the grip of the weapon. When the officer pulled on the strap to free it, the gun fired.
“At this point, the only reasonable, although not provable, cause of the discharge is most likely the backpack strap tail getting into the holster and engaging the trigger,” the police department wrote.
Investigators examined the backpack and said it was possible for the backpack strap tail to get into the holster.
As part of investigation, the holster and the gun were sent off to see if there were any issues with them, JPD noted.
Holster-maker Safariland found no defects in the holster the officer was wearing. Smith and Wesson inspected the gun and returned it to the police department on Thursday. The firearm came back with a letter from the company also stating there were no problems with the weapon.
A spokesperson for the Janesville Police Dept. confirmed that the weapon does not have an external mechanical safety.
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