Special Needs Transportation

Officer back at work after gun fires on special-needs bus

Posted on May 31, 2013

WINCHESTER, Va. — A police officer who was placed on paid administrative leave after his gun discharged on a special-needs bus is back at work, North Virginia Daily reports.

Lauren Cummings, police community relations specialist, told the news outlet that investigators determined that the gun fired accidentally through no fault of the officer.

Police say the officer was called to the school bus to help the bus driver after school officials reported an unruly student on board. The officer boarded the bus, calmed down the disruptive student and was accompanying him to his destination when the gun discharged. Police say the student and officer were seated next to each other when the student reached into the officer's holster and squeezed the trigger with his finger. The gun fired through a seat and into the floor, according to police.

To read the full story, click here.

Related Topics: law enforcement, Virginia

Comments ( 1 )
  • Randy Mazie

     | about 4 years ago

    I read the full story alleging that the holster may have been defective in allowing a civilian (and in this case a student) to reach inside the holster and pull the trigger, I still have some very serious concerns about this explanation. Usually the weapon of choice for officers is a semiautomatic, which has a safety lock to prevent the weapon being fired until the safety is unlatched; and although I am not a police officer, I am of the belief that an officer, especially a safety officer on a bus, would not carry the weapon with “one in the chamber”, meaning that the gun should not have been loaded and ready to fire. If the officer did a loaded chamber, I would want to believe that he/she would remove the round and ensure that the handgun’s safety was on before entering the bus. Furthermore, I don’t understand why the officer would have a child seated next to his/her weapon to begin with. However, if for some reason the child needed to be seated next to the weapon, I don't understand why the officer would not have his/her hand placed next to the weapon and/or between the weapon and the child. I also question the officer’s alertness, as it takes quite a long period of time for someone to reach inside of a holster, figure out where the trigger is, position the hand correctly in order to be able to exert pressure on the trigger in order to pull it backwards, and then exert the considerable force needed in order for the weapon to fire. And, during all this time the officer was not aware? Although the Police Department raised questions about the holster, I think there are still many unanswered questions - certainly departmental policies and procedures either need to be reviewed and/or new ones put into place; and depending on the answers to this, the officer needs to be dealt with appropriately. And certainly, this case should be a training case not only for this Police Department, but for other police departments as appropriate. Randy Mazie

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