NewsPasco County


School Resource Officer's gun accidentally fires in cafeteria of Wesley Chapel middle school

Posted at 2:38 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 06:41:18-04

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — A school resource officer's gun accidentally discharged, while in the holster, in the cafeteria at Weightman Middle School in Wesley Chapel on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say the SRO was in the cafeteria, leaning against the wall when his holstered, duty-issued firearm accidentally discharged into the wall behind him.

The gun fired directly into the wall, and no students were in danger, according to the Sheriff's Office. There were no injuries to any students, the staff or the School Resource Officer.

"It is a Sig Sauer 9mm," Lt. Troy Fergueson said. "The weapons are not carried with a safety mechanism, per se, they are carried ready to use. Weapons are fully loaded armed and round is chambered in case of an emergent situation."

Fergueson said the SRO was feet away from students in the lunch line.

"He would’ve had students passing in front of him, a few feet to the front, five or six feet down to the right," he said.

Parents want answers about what happened.

"That’s a deputy. And now they are trying to arm teachers with guns?" Stan Thomas said. "What kind of training are they getting to have a gun go off in a holster? I’m speechless right now. I don’t know."

Fergueson said the deputy was wearing a body camera, but it was not activated. They are reviewing surveillance video from the cafeteria to see if it captured what happened.

"For me, as a parent, that’s not OK at all," Karla Castillo said. "How that could be prevented? I know they are there to keep our children safe. Whatever training it takes to not have accidents like that I think is definitely important."

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The incident remains under investigation. The SRO was placed on paid administrative leave. Investigators said they are not releasing his name until the investigation is complete. The SRO has been at the school for several years.