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You at least have to give the San Antonio PD props for honesty. The vast majority of officer-involved negligent discharges are compliantly reported by local media, providing convenient stenography services for the local 5-0 and listing the officer involved as “unidentified.” And that’s all you ever hear about it. But after a San Antonio copter pilot blew a hole in his hand on Wednesday, the cop shop named names. The fly-boy with the see-through left hand is Officer Daniel Dominguez . . .

Here’s’s description of the result of Officer Dominguez’s Rule Two (at a minimum) violation:

Dominguez took his duty pistol, a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, from his on-duty holster, which was attached to his flight vest, according to police. He was transferring it to his off-duty leather shoulder holster, which was hanging from a hook on the right side of his locker, police said.

Dominguez told supervisors he was holding the holster with his left hand and trying to insert the pistol when it went off. The bullet went through the bottom of the holster and through the bottom of Dominguez’s left hand, below his little finger.

We’re glad to hear that Officer Dominquez should make a full recovery. And while we don’t intend to heap insult on top of injury (much) we’ll be sending him some commemorative hardware he can keep in his locker. Maybe be more than decorative and catch the next stray round he lets loose.

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  1. Sounds painful, Gotta wonder if the trigger caught on the hook or if it was a booger hook malfunction.

    Obviously your left hand is not a safe direction.

    • Four rules of safety, Hmmm……………… I think they start out about holding a thick piece of hardwood in back of your hand, while transferring weapon from one holster to the other. That way, after putting a hole through your hand the, bullet wont tear up the locker room

  2. Ouchers! I don’t what it is about GSWs to appendages like hands and feet but hearing about them always gets to me. I’m curious if it was user error or if the firearm had a malfunction.
    By the way have you ever realized how flexible you have to be to fit into a helicopters cockpit? I’m not that tall, I just don’t have enough flexibility to get all the way in, any one else have this issue?

  3. I’ll admit to a healthy dose of ignorance of the day-to-day activities of police helicopter pilots, but if he’s just flying a chopper around all day, what the heck does he need a gun on his flight vest for? When was the last time a cop copter pilot had cause to use a sidearm? Is he worried about going down behind enemy lines in the ‘hood? Give him an M6 and a survival kit…

    • Ok, I’ll bite. What if the helo has mechanical problems and has to land in an area of town that is “not so nice”. If a group of illegal aliens (I’m sorry “undocumented workers”) can strip a car in 10 minutes, what do you think they could do to the helicopter? At least the pilot can defend himself and the city’s property until others arrive.

      Besides, who here thinks the pilot has to demonstrate a “need” in order to carry a weapon for self defense.

      • Surely you’re not suggesting that if a police chopper went down in east la it would turn into “Blackhawk Down” are you.(dammitalltohell I wish i knew how to make that little yellow smiley face dingus)

      • “Ok, I’ll bite. What if the helo has mechanical problems and has to land in an area of town that is “not so nice”. If a group of illegal aliens (I’m sorry “undocumented workers”) can strip a car in 10 minutes, what do you think they could do to the helicopter? At least the pilot can defend himself and the city’s property until others arrive. ”

        Will they have to send Snake Plissken?

  4. Gotta give the guy credit for fessing up considering all the excrement he’s gonna get from his pals. I would have lied my asterisk off. If you went fishing and only caught a minnow, would you admit it? Not me!
    And what’s with that dinky chopper?

    • Would I admit it? Actually, yes, I would! Was out fishing one time and after reeling my lure in preparing for the next cast, I noticed a little piece of grass or weed stuck on one of the treble hooks. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a tiny fish about an inch long and maybe a 1/8 inch in diameter. It seems the point of the hook just happened to impale the little guy, right in the mid section.
      Ever since then, I been bragging about catching the worlds smallest fish yet on a bass lure!

      • Really? Oh man, I slam my finger in the door and tell everybody it happened bailing out of my stealth fighter over Baghdad! That male ego thingy. Saw a lot of dumb injuries working in the ER and I used to council the guys about sounding more macho about the booboo. But ya gotta understand that in the ER, the two most common phrases are “I only had 2 beers” and “I have no idea how that got in there.” Maybe my career just warped me.

        • Funny how all ER’s are different. IN mine the most commonly heard phrase is ” I’m allergic to Tylenol, aspirin and all NSAIDS”

        • My understanding is that the most dangerous thing in the world to do is to be “just standin’ there mindin’ my own business….”

          Also “These two dudes” are the most dangerous and psychotically violent people on the planet, accounting for a significant percentage of ER visits.

        • When I was working a contract in Baghdad, they found a benign cyst in my throat. I flew home and had it removed and ended up with nice horizontal stitched incision across the front of my throat. You can bet I had some fun telling stories about how THAT happened… 🙂 Most of them started out with, “so there I was…”

    • I kinda like it, myself. Looks like one of those home-made autogyros, about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.

  5. Ralph, while you make a valid point as to why he may or may not need a firearm, there are many gun grabbers who ask why anybody “needs” a gun.

    At the end of the day he is still a LEO, and may have other duties in addition to being a pilot.

  6. There’s the infamous “when it went off….” passive sentence construction again. It’s as regular as “I support the Second Amendment, but…”

    Just curious, do guns ever actually go off? It seems they’re always being handled, jostled, manipulated in some way when they decide to go rogue and go off. Seriously though, could, say, a charged AR leaning against a wall, which gets knocked over by a slammed door ir heavy truck going by or whatever, could that go off when it hits the floor? The owner’s manual says yes, but could it really?

    • Long guns I am not sure, I believe it might be possible. Revolvers, you can cock the hammer and then drop them from the Empire State Building, and they will not fire, period, unless there is a finger holding the trigger back. Semi handguns, I am pretty certain are made as safe as revolvers.

      40+ years ago, while handloading for my Colt Python, I took a case with a live primer inserted but not yet powder or bullet and loaded it in the gun. Cock the hammer, hold the gun in one hand and “fan” the trigger with the other, the hammer will fall but there won’t be the slightest mark on the primer, the hammer has to be held fully to the rear while the hammer falls or the gun will not fire.

  7. That had to hurt REALLY bad. Words to the wise – loaded gun, extreme care. Complacency is never an option, Hard to do day in and day out BUT DO IT!

  8. …. and he will not be flying very soon, since the collective stick is on the left side, and it really comes in handy if you want to fly the bird. A local gunshop guy managed to put a .40 round through the meaty part of his left hand (missed bones somehow) and it was a real mess.

    • It’s contact range when one of these accidents happen. I know the bullet is the main cause of injury. But I wonder how much additional damage is done by muzzle blast?

  9. And again I ask, whats wrong with having a manual safety?
    Would hate to see him have a problem while he was airborne.

    • It HAS a manual safety… it’s called the TRIGGER. That said, many M&P pistols have external thumb safeties… Not sure if his did…

  10. premature discharge is a growing problem among law enforcement, it seems.
    At least this time no innocent bystanders were harmed

  11. Wonder if the holster was new. The only time I ever did something stupid with rule violations was when I was trying to insert my P226 into a new (cheap) IWB holster at the small of my back. I realized after a moment of overly-aggressive encouragement of getting it into the holster that my index finger was WAY too close to the bang switch.

    Granted, the difference between the good peace officer and myself is that I didn’t actually shoot myself…

  12. Rule 3 violation. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are pointed in at a target you want to destroy.

    Either he had a serious hatred for his left hand or he FAILED to keep his booger hook off the bang switch.

    Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence with those who are either poorly trained or so arrogant they believe the “rules are for thee, not for me.”

  13. Jus Bill, I seriously doubt it too, but just sayin, if it was a smaller department it could be possible. For an example I have a friend who is a police officer in colorado with Lakewood PD, in addition to being on the bomb squad he also has to go out on patrol, but while on patrol he is also on call to deal with any calls dealing with hazardous materials/ explosives if they come up.

    I don’t fly but I climbed into a Black Hawks cockpit once and couldn’t get enough mobility to actually sit properly in the seat. Unfortunately, i do not have an R/C helicopter to play with.

  14. I know shit happens. I carry a P229 and I have no idea how its happened, but more than once, I have found the hammer cocked back. If I was to accidentally hook the trigger, BANG.
    Now I find myself checking the hammer position often. I must inadvertently did it some how, but I have no idea how.

  15. Well, at least it is a change from normal. Usually the aircraft is what malfunctions, rather than the pilots. Case in point:

  16. I think this was an officer malfunction instead of a holster malfunction. TTAG has already mentioned not being to hasty whilst re-holstering. This looks like one of those instances.

  17. No ND here, but I can empathize with his digital damage since I recently lopped off the end of my thumb in a tragic kitchen mandolin accident.

  18. This article is so one sided…..what if maybe he was suspicious of his left hand, and it made a sudden movement…… (you can never trust those “Lefties”)

  19. I don’t know what type of “commemorative hardware” you might be sending to him, but why not a framed copy of the four basic rules of gun safety with number 2 bold faced? Thoughtful, considerate, and practical. So, as such, sure to anger any of today’s sheeple to the point of insanity….

  20. Jared- Tampa, I’m not all that tall, I’d say I fall on the up side of average when it comes to physical build, I think it’s more of a mobility issue as I’m pretty unflexible.

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