Sheriff’s Deputy Accidentally Fires Weapon in Courthouse

A San Francisco sheriff’s deputy accidentally fired a loaded gun at the Hall of Justice Wednesday morning while showing it to another deputy, sheriff’s department officials said today.

The incident occurred shortly after 7 a.m. in the bailiff’s office, an area behind the courtrooms that is not open to the general public, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Eileen Hirst.

One deputy was showing another deputy an off-duty weapon when the gun was accidentally fired. No one was injured, but the bullet went through a file cabinet and into a concrete wall, Hirst said.

Hirst said that the two deputies remain on duty but are receiving “refresher training” on firearm safety. An investigation into the incident is underway.

“If corrective action is warranted, it will be taken,” Hirst said.

In addition, the department plans to issue a bulletin to all employees on firearm safety, and will include firearm safety training during the briefing before each shift, Hirst said.

The sheriff’s department requires deputies to undergo firearm training and qualify to carry their duty weapons every year.

Some deputies also carry off-duty weapons to and from work, but they must get approval from the department and undergo training on their own time before they are allowed to carry them, Hirst said. The off-duty weapons must be from an approved list of models, and cannot be carried while the deputy is on duty.

Deputies do not carry their duty weapons while serving as bailiffs, escorting prisoners to and from the courtrooms, but do in other parts of the courthouse.

Hirst said the last time a deputy accidentally discharged a weapon was 2005. That incident did not occur in the courthouse and the deputy was off-duty at the time.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

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Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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