published Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Police trainee shoots self in leg


by Andy Johns

A police trainee at Georgia Northwestern Technical College accidentally shot himself in the leg Thursday while drawing his gun.

According to an emailed statement from college President Craig McDaniel, the student was involved in a Low Light Familiarization Course exercise at a firing range in Calhoun, Ga., with 16 other students and three instructors.

When the student, whose name was not released, pulled his .40-caliber Glock from his holster, he accidentally pulled the trigger.

The bullet entered at top of the student's right calf and exited at the ankle, according to McDaniel. Medics found the bullet in the student's boot.

"At the present time I view this as an unfortunate accident that occurred during a well-supervised, closely monitored training exercise," McDaniel said.

Buford Tune, owner of the Academy of Personal Protection and Security in Nashville, said in 20 years of instructing he's only seen one injury on the range, but he acknowledged they happen. He is not connected with the firing range in Calhoun or the police training program.

"Accidents will happen with a gun, with a car or anything else," said Tune, who said he was once accidentally shot through the hand. "When it does happen you learn from your mistakes."

Trainees often put their fingers on the triggers when they're holstering or drawing a weapon, he said.

"The biggest problem we have to pound into people's heads is to take their fingers off the trigger," Tune explained. "It's just a natural thing [that] when you pick it up, the finger goes to the trigger."

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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