Of­fi­cer in­volved in ac­ci­den­tal shoot­ing

North Penn Life - - Front Page - By Brian Binga­man bbinga­man@jour­nalregis­ter.com

Even with proper train­ing, ac­ci­dents do hap­pen.

At 10:44 Tues­day morn­ing, emer­gency units re­sponded to the Hat­field Town­ship Po­lice De­part­ment shoot­ing range on the 300 block of County Line Road for an in­jury caused by the ac­ci­den­tal dis­charge of a firearm.

Ac­cord­ing to Hat­field po­lice, Sgt. Stephen Gillen of the Up­per Gwynedd Town­ship Po­lice De­part­ment was con­duct­ing an­nual firearms train­ing at the range when a round fired into his left foot while he was re­mov­ing the weapon from his hol­ster.

Up­per Gwynedd po­lice Chief David Duffy con­firmed that the weapon was a .40-cal­iber hand­gun.

Gillen, a 23-year veteran po­lice of­fi­cer, was un­der the su­per­vi­sion of two cer­ti­fied range in­struc­tors at the time, Hat­field po­lice said.

There were also three of­fi­cers present for the firearms train­ing, Duffy said.

“Re­spond­ing Hat­field Town­ship po­lice of­fi­cers found Sgt. Gillen alert and be­ing treated by his fel­low of­fi­cers. The 9ol­un­teer Med­i­cal Ser­vice Corps trans­ported Sgt. Gillen to Abing­ton Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal,” a re­lease from Hat­field po­lice stated.

Duffy re­ported that Gillen was ex­pected to be re­leased from the hospi­tal Wed­nes­day.

Up­per Gwynedd po­lice are han­dling the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

De­scrib­ing po­lice work as a “dan­ger­ous” job, Duffy said that although it’s rare, ac­ci­dents can oc­cur even in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment such as a po­lice range.

“We take this se­ri­ously. We will look into this and see if we can pre­vent any­thing like this from hap­pen­ing again,” he said.

Photo by GE­OFF PAT­TON

Of­fi­cers at the po­lice range in Hat­field Town­ship fol­low­ing an ac­ci­den­tal shoot­ing Tues­day.

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