“Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.”
A Texas deputy attempting to capture a hit-and-run suspect broke the second golden rule of firearms safety, suffering a negligent discharge and shooting a man in the face after slipping in the mud.
Harris County deputies had some reports to write following in incident involving a hit-and-run Monday night, called in by an off-duty deputy who was working security in the area of the accident, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Shortly after a second HCSO deputy -on duty and in his marked vehicle- located and pursued the suspect until the vehicle came to a stop in the north Houston-area community of Aldine.
Drawing his sidearm as he exited his vehicle and advanced on the suspect, the lawman reportedly slipped in mud, engaging the trigger on his sidearm, either by reflex or because his finger was wrapped around the trigger.
“When the deputy approached the vehicle with his weapon in hand,” Sgt. Cedrick Collier said, “the deputy slipped in some water and mud in the driveway, and his weapon discharged, grazing the suspect across the forehead.”
After the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital, several deputies who were waiting for the suspect to be discharged were parked outside the hospital, with at least one vehicle unattended and unlocked. Seizing an opportunity for mayhem, a man (unrelated to the previous incident) stole the cruiser and took off for a joy ride.
The second suspect was later captured, though it is unknown just how far he went before he was taken into custody.
According to Chron, the two suspects were charged the following day: the man shot in the face by the deputy was charged with failure to stop and give information and evading arrest, while the joyrider was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and evading arrest.
As for the deputy who suffered an ND? He is currently the subject of an investigation to “determine whether the officer’s actions were appropriate and justified.”
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