CZ sent us a link to blog.ctnews.com‘s story about a negligent discharge (ND) by a Bridgeport Police Department officer. Suffice it to say Officer Juan Santiago Jr. had no business “borrowing” a customer’s loaded .45—unless and until he’d mastered the fine art of trigger and muzzle control. (You might say he had no business being a law enforcement officer either, but I couldn’t possibly comment.) The newspaper report on Officer Santiago’s ballistic slip-up offers more than the usual tale of “gun safety” fail. The original post and its three updates illustrate the “one rule for you one rule for us” prevarications that accompany police NDs. Here’s the sequence in chronological order . . .
Original Post, 9:28 a.m.
A Bridgeport police officer is in good condition at St. Vincent’s Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg.
Sources said the officer was inside the Bagel King restaurant on Main Street when the gun accidentally discharged.
The officer, who was not immediately identified, was met at the hospital by a phalanx of Bridgeport police.
Spokesman Bill Kaempffer confirmed that the officer was shot by accident.
“We’re not looking for a suspect,” he says.
Update, 9:55 a.m.
The Bagel King on Main Street was busy serving hot coffee and breakfast sandwiches an hour after a Bridgeport police officer was accidentally shot inside.
TV crews gathered outside waiting for a briefing.
The officer who was injured frequently comes into the shop, a clerk said. “I heard the shot, it was scary,” she said.
A customer who wouldn’t give his name said another customer either asked to see the officer’s gun or showed him a gun he had.
Update, 10:05 a.m.
A doctor who frequents the Bagel King said that he’d loaned his .45 semi-automatic pistol to a Bridgeport officer and the officer was returning it Tuesday morning when another cop asked to see it.
“He picked it up off the table.”
Update, 10:18 a.m.
[Note: The officer had previously been inaccurately identified as Juan Gonzalez.]
Sources identified the Bridgeport police officer shot early this morning as Juan Santiago, and said the officer shot himself in the leg with a target pistol he didn’t realize was loaded.
Another officer had borrowed the .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and was returning it when the shooting happened, the gun’s owner said.
“It was on the table and he picked it up and cocked it,” said the gun owner, who asked not to be identified.
“It wasn’t loaded but there was a magazine in it and when he cocked it a bullet moved into the chamber.”
A Bagel King employee said both officers come in nearly every day.
“I’m sure he’s a bit embarrassed by what happened,” the employee said.