“A key mistakenly placed in a holster released the safety and activated the trigger on a school resource officer’s gun on Monday, causing the gun to accidentally discharge a bullet into a sidewalk at York Comprehensive High School, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office.” Regular readers will know that this is not our first bite of this particular negligent discharge (ND) apple. We covered the RSO’s ballistic faux pas in Passively Constructed Negligent Discharge Story of the Day: How’s That Whole School Resource Officer Thing Working Out for You? And now, thanks to charlotteobserver.com, we get the “real story” behind the Palmetto State incident. Ready? So . . .
The department began its investigation immediately after Prescott’s standard-issued Glock 22 gun accidentally fired an hour before the start of the school day on school grounds on Monday.
Not to go all Ellen Foley on you but—STOP RIGHT THERE! Didn’t the Observer say an errant key “released the safety” of the RSO’s gun? Glock’s don’t have safeties. Well, not external safeties. Glocks are all striker-fired guns with a “safety action trigger.”
As writer Anna Douglas doesn’t seem to have personal knowledge of Glock handguns, or access to the Internet, or a telephone with which to call a Glock armorer, here’s the relevant bit about said safety action trigger from Glock’s website [picture above]:
The trigger safety is incorporated into the trigger in the form of a lever and when in the forward position, blocks the trigger from moving rearward. To fire the pistol, the trigger safety and the trigger itself, must be deliberately depressed at the same time. If the trigger safety is not depressed, the trigger will not move rearwards and allow the pistol to fire.
In other words, a key would have to press down on both parts of the trigger at the same time for the gun to fire. You’d probably be able to use a key to discharge a Glock provided you applied enough force in the right direction. Murphy’s Law? We report, you deride. Here’s how the sheriff’s office say the ND went down:
The sheriff’s office says [Officer Dave] Prescott first retrieved a gym bag from the passenger seat of his car before turning to walk towards the school.
In the video, the deputy can be seen placing the bag over his shoulder and closing the patrol car’s door.
The accident happened just after Prescott places his hand near his gun, attempting to place his keys in an open pocket of his bag.
During the sheriff’s office investigation, deputies found that Prescott was likely holding one of his keys between two fingers and mistakenly wedged the set of keys in his holster, not in his bag.
Prescott’s holster is an older model with an area just large enough for an item to slip into and become lodged against a gun’s trigger.
The sheriff’s office says it is in the process of replacing a handful of holsters like Prescott’s.
According to this (let’s face it) tall tale, Officer Prescott had a set of keys in his hand. He was holding one key between his fingers like he was about to insert it into a car’s ignition or a lock. He then jammed the key (one singular) into the bag to, you know, to put his keys away. Who does that? I’m thinking nobody.
Now what about this “older model” holster thing? Let’s assume the sheriff’s office means ye olde leather holster with a button safety strap, like the Safariland 6280 SLS Hooded Level II Duty Holster above. What are the odds that you could jam a single key between the leather and the firearm to engage both triggers simultaneously with an equal amount of pressure? What are the odds that you’d do it by mistake?
When the incident happened, Prescott’s gun was not malfunctioning, said Undersheriff Maj. Robert Hudgins.
The accidental firing was a “freak anomaly,” he said.
The school district is eager for Prescott to return, Hudgins said, adding that he is “well-thought of at York Comprehensive High School and they miss (Prescott).”
At least one e-mail from a community member was sent to the sheriff’s office and the school, he said, and all comments about the incident have been supportive and understanding that it was an accident.
Yeah, well, time to read the comments below this post. And yes, Prescott’s going straight back to work at the school where he showed some kids his loaded gun and pulled the trigger (IMHO). As for the Observer, I’m going to give them a Mulligan. Seems someone on staff isn’t quite as gullible as the entire article (up to the last two ‘graphs) indicates.
The sheriff’s office has received requests, including one from The Herald, for documents related to Prescott’s disciplinary record and training.
Hudgins said the department is working on fulfilling those records requests.