Police handgun accident wounds retired St. Paul officer

  • Updated: February 23, 2009 - 12:02 AM

The "very freak accident" happened at a gun show in Minneapolis on Saturday, police said. Both men, who were working security, were hit by bullet fragments.

An off-duty Minneapolis police officer's gun accidentally discharged Saturday afternoon, wounding a retired St. Paul police officer.

Both men were providing security at the Minneapolis Gun Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center when the accident occurred about 1:15 p.m., said Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia.

The Minneapolis officer was sitting in a chair when the gun's holster caught on the chair, Garcia said. The gun discharged, and one round hit the floor. The bullet fragmented and hit the 61-year-old retired St. Paul officer in the left leg and in one hand. He suffered minor injuries, and was treated and released Saturday, Garcia said.

The Minneapolis officer was grazed by a bullet fragment, but didn't seek medical treatment. There were no other injuries.

"It's a very freak accident," Garcia said. "We're fortunate no one was seriously hurt."

The officer has been with the Minneapolis police department for more than 20 years.

"He feels very bad about it," Garcia said. "An accident like that is pretty scary."

Authorities are checking the gun and holster for possible mechanical problems. Garcia said the officer involved will not be disciplined and that the accident does not rise to the level of a critical incident in which officers are placed on paid leave pending an investigation.

CHAO XIONG

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