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As the late, great J.C. (Jeff Cooper, not that dude who walked on water) said there's no such thing as a firearms accident, but there is negligence.


Two law enforcement officials suffered gunshot wounds Monday after one of their weapons accidentally discharged at the El Paso Federal Courthouse, U.S. Marshals Service in El Paso officials said.

A U.S. Marshals' deputy discharged his weapon, fired one bullet, and injured himself and a Border Patrol agent in the federal courthouse at about 10:45 a.m. Monday, said Gerry Payan, supervisory deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in El Paso.

There is video of this (it happened in a hallway full of prisoners, law enforcement personnell and court staff members) though I don't have a link to the video (it was sent to me via e-mail from one of the patrol sargeants at the department I work for.) Basically the set-up is that there are firearms lockers in this hallway on a table. The Marshall (in plain clothes) removes his gun from one of the lockers and goes to holster it. Directly behind him is the Border Patrol Agent, with his back to the Marshall. In front of the Agent is a row of prisoners facing the wall, waiting to go to court I presume. As the Marshall holsters his weapon he discharges one round, which appears to graze his right hip. It hits the Agent in the left leg (either directly or via a ricochet, can't tell from the video nor can you see exactly where it hits him in the leg.) The Agent immediatly starts hopping on his right leg down the hall and collapses a few feet away. The Marshall drops the gun and starts wandering around (he can walk, though he is holding his hip.) The gun is laying on the ground, unattended, directly behind a row of prisoners for a good 15 seconds before the Marshall wanders back, kicks it under the table then decides to pick it up and put it back into a locker just as another LEO orders the prisoners to the ground (none of them went for the gun, luckily!) The Marshall walks out of the hallway under his own power, apparently the Agent left via an ambulance.

Per the article the gun isn't identified, though it is likely a .40 Glock (which is the Marshall's issued handgun).

So I guess the moral of the story is not to get complacent, even with "routine" things such as holstering your weapon. I'm sure that Marshall has holstered that gun hundreds of times without discharging it in the process... hopefully that is the first and last time he makes the mistake he made in this incident.
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