Officer was cleaning gun when firearm discharged at school

Officer was cleaning gun when firearm discharged at school

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It was about 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 9 at Hackberry High School when a security officer’s weapon accidentally discharged.

Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson says the officer then immediately reported himself to the assistant principal. He says there is no reason the officer’s weapon should have been out of the holster to begin with.

“The discharge took place in his small office, which is right by the entrance of Hackberry High School. It appears he was attempting to clean the firearm, which he shouldn’t have been doing. There’s no reason for it,” says Johnson.

Johnson says the officer is currently held on suspension until the investigation is complete.

Concern is growing among parents of students as to why they were notified the following day instead of immediately. Numerous parents posted to Facebook frustrated with how the release of information was treated.

Superintendent Charley Lemons says the notice to parents was held to collect all the facts first.

“There were no students involved, there was no staff involved, so, instead of creating pandemonium, it was important to have a meeting this morning and get the facts straight before we release anything to the press,” says Lemons.

“The incident was over as soon as we got notified about it. If there was an incident going on at the time, we certainly would’ve notified the public and we would’ve had more officers there at the time to make sure everyone there was covered,” says Johnson.

Johnson says going forward, they will be implementing new training procedures.

“Again, it is an accident, and it is an accident that could’ve ended up a different way. I would like to work closely with the sheriff to make sure that we have procedures in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” says Lemons.

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