Police training fatality + accidental firing

Police training fatality update

We reported last year about the fatal shooting of a trooper at the Public Safety Training Campus, in Plymouth Township, PA.

Now PA State Police Corporal Richard Schroeter is under arrest in Montgomery County, charged in connection with the incident. Prosecutors say Cpl. Schroeter, 42, was conducting a firearms training session at the facility in late September, to transition the troopers to a new firearm. Shortly after the session began, prosecutors say, Schroeter was discussing trigger mechanics when he pulled the trigger on his “unloaded” duty-issued gun. The firearm discharged a live round, killing Trooper David Kedra.

A grand jury investigation resulted in five counts of reckless endangerment against Schroeter, and found there was not enough evidence to support an involuntary manslaughter charge, but that Schroeter did not follow necessary precautions and breached routine even though he is a highly qualified instructor.

(I was previously unaware that anyone used corporals as instructors.)

Another police expert

Last August, a bullet accidentally fired from Florida International University (Miami) Police Sergeant Alberto Alfonso’s personal gun at his work desk went through the wall of his office, into the kitchen, through the refrigerator, into the Communications area, through another wall, ricocheted off a flat screen TV, and finally stopped in a hallway garbage can.

After the shot, the sergeant’s assistant chief responded and picked up the gun, asking him whether it was clear and safe. Sgt. Alfonso said yes, but when the Assistant Chief checked, he found another live round in the chamber.

This was the third known improper FIU gun discharge.

A fellow blogger opined that Alfonso must be a firearms instructor, as a mere beat cop could not have possibly hit so many things with a single bullet.

Sure enough, Sgt. Alfonso was given a written reprimand which reads in part, “Your failure to use due care is compounded by the fact that you are a FIUPD firearms instructor and a FIUPD field training supervisor.”

A recap of the rules, from Farnam

THEIR rules:
1) All guns are always unloaded.
2) Unloaded guns are “safe.” When around “safe” guns, you can relax!
3) When handling “safe” guns, never be concerned with the direction in which they’re pointed. After all, they’re not really guns anymore, are they? There is no reason to even look!
4) When handling “safe” guns, have your finger constantly on the trigger, for good control.

OUR rules:
1) All guns are always loaded!
2) Do not allow your muzzle to point in unsafe directions.
3) Keep your finger(s) off the trigger, and in a strong, “register” position, until your sights are on-target, and you are in the process of intentionally firing.
4) Be sure of your target, as well as what is beyond it.

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