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May 1, 2014 - 3:36pm

Accidental weapon discharge leads to internal police investigation

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD.

While on a check-the-welfare call April 22, the handgun of a Batavia police officer discharged unexpectedly, Chief Shawn Heubusch confirmed today.

The accidental discharged is being investigated, but the good news, the chief said, is nobody was hurt.

Officers responded to a check-the-welfare call in the Grandview Terrace complex and the chief said the officers were either concerned the person they were checking on was in danger or could be a danger to others.

An officer for this reason drew his or her weapon and when the officer went to return his weapon to its holster, the Glock .40 caliber fired.

The investigation so far has not ruled out a mistaken discharge or a gun malfunction. What has been ruled out is defect with the holster.

Heubusch confirmed that buttons on the sides of officers' jackets have been known to catch on the triggers of guns, but the officer in this case was not wearing a jacket and the officer had on no other clothing that might have caught on the trigger.

The officer's name is not being released. Outside of acknowledging that the incident took place, the case is being handled as a personnel matter, which requires confidentiality for the officer involved.

This is the first accidental discharge of a weapon in the department since Heubusch became chief and he said in "just asking the guys" nobody can remember a similar prior incident.

Asked if the officers were surprised when the weapon fired, he said the officers remained calm and in control. 

"They maintained their composure," Heubusch said. "If you think about their training, they're trained to maintain their composure in an actual live fire situation. They're trained to stick with the mission until the mission is accomplished and they did a great job of ensuring the scene was secured.

"Again," he added, "we're lucky nobody was injured and the floor suffered minimal damage."

Mark Potwora
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Where is Grand View Apartments? ......

Peggy Dominiak
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I was wondering the same thing, Mark.

John Roach
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Mark, good question.

AnnMarie DiLaura
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It was at Grandview Terrace!

Mark Potwora
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I live on Grandview terrace....Would be nice to know that ...Amazing why this is a private matter when something as serious as this ,and something that has never happened before in the police dept..is a personal matter...Thank goodness no one was hurt...What would've happened if it hurt or killed the homeowner,would it still been a personal matter?...

Ed Hartgrove
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They are called "Grand View Apts. because you can view the apartment beneath you, simply by peering through the bullet holes in the floor.

I'm guessing that they got their beginnings in Chicago or Detroit, and they can now be found in almost every major city in the U.S.
(Not that I'm calling Batavia a 'major city', mind you).

cj sruger
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Does anybody know what happens to a common person who has an accidental discharge? and there is property damage? Im pretty sure it wont be a statement from the chief that the good news is nobody got hurt. And quite certain it would involve some from of charges be filed and firearms being taken away

terry paine
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This is why I chuckle anytime a person say's "The law is the law" or "We're a nation of laws".

alvin tufts
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How can anything that a public employee does on the job be kept private?

david spaulding
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cj, you make some good points. there is no doubt in my mind that if this happened to mr joe citizen, any and all of his firearms would be confiscated.

Beth Kinsley
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"Heubusch confirmed that buttons on the sides of officers jackets have been known to catch on the triggers of guns...." SMH. Maybe it's time to get jackets without buttons on the side. I know that has been ruled out as the cause of this incident but Heubusch is now on record acknowledging that this is an issue so God forbid this happens and someone gets hurt.

Howard B. Owens
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I think you're misunderstanding, Beth -- it's a known issue in the past. I asked just to make sure the officer wasn't wearing such a jacket. It's my understanding those types of jackets haven't been issued locally for a long time. I include the information because it illustrates there are ways for an accidental fire that doesn't involve, per se, mishandling the weapon.

Also, Heubusch cannot by law discuss personnel matters involving police officers

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/CVR/5/50-a

"All personnel records, used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion, under the control of any police agency or department of the state or any political subdivision thereof ... shall be considered confidential and not subject to inspection or review without the express written consent of such police officer ..."

The incident itself is public record. The outcome of an internal investigation specific information about the involved officer are not public. While I may not necessarily agree with the law, it is the law. I think it's rather unfair to criticize the chief for following the law.

mark jackett
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I'M THINKING THE OFFICER INVOLVED WAS --BARNY FIFE THEY SHOULD GIVE HIM ONE BULLET FOR HIS POCKET JUST IN CASE HE NEEDS IT . DON'T REALLY NEED BULLETS IN THIS COUNTY. HATE TO GO TO TIM HORTON'S NOW YOU MIGHT ACCIDENTALLY GET SHOT ,LOL

Beth Kinsley
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Understood now Howard. Thanks for clarifying.

curtis jackson
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How about this our cops out here barley have to draw their wepons...instead of hiring new cops why don't we get experienced cops from the city..the cops we have out here are a joke 99% of them are here just to harass us.there are a few good one though they are lucky someone didn't get shot. Now what I don't get is why isn't the officer being charged? If one of us did it we would be in jail...one of the children could have been hurt!! But hey its gensee county very corrupt place to live its sad...if you have money or the right last name your golden.

curtis jackson
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Mark I agree

curtis jackson
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Defect in the gun my ass! That wouldn't fly for us...its so funny everyone is content with them having more rights then us...in 50 years this country will be like north korea watch...our government has too much power its no longer run by us the citizens.just like the unemployment issue millions of americans are starving without it and its all on. One guy to decide...I thought our right was to vote on serious issues like that. Jojn boehber makees almost a million a year paid by our tax money so why the hell can't we get paid too? We actually work hard jobs to keep this country going all he does is sit in a office and figure out how to make himself and all his butt boys richer...how are u people blind to this? All of us who's unemployment need to get together and do something about this...I myself have 3 kids that I support on my own all my money is about to be up and we will be homeless..I got laid off my job of 7 years now we are screwed...

Rex Lampke
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The first thing you teach a child about weapon safety is a button/switch on the weapon called a safe and it is designed to help prevent such an incident. Your weapon is in the safe mode unless you are going to fire it.

joe miano
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FYI There is no safety on a Glock

John Roach
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Joe, there is a safety, but not the side mounted lever many are use to. There is one on the trigger and two other "passive" ones.

Rex Lampke
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Then I would have to ask is that the best weapon for our police force to carry ? I would never own a weapon without a safety.

Ed Hartgrove
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John is correct, Joe.
You can view the relevant info at Glock's own website, at
Http://us.glock.com/technology/safe-action

Rex Lampke
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Not much of a safety if it doesn't stop the trigger from being pulled .

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