BART officer killed by partner in negligent discharge

This is such a senseless shame:

In a brief statement, a somber BART police chief said the officer was the first to die on duty in the department’s history. Taking no questions, Chief Kenton Rainey said he was confirming the “tragic loss” with “a heavy heart.”

“Our condolences go out to the immediate family and friends and the extended BART family,” Rainey said. “We ask that everyone please give us a chance to catch our breath [and] grieve.”

The members of BART’s detective unit were conducting a probation search at a sprawling apartment complex in the eastern Alameda County bedroom community. Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson, whose department is investigating the incident, said the suspect, who was already in custody, was wanted in connection with “some crimes that had occurred on a train.”

“During that search, it appears one officer accidentally fired his weapon, which struck the other officer and ultimately it was a fatal shot,” said Nelson, the Sheriff’s Department spokesman.


Nelson, the Sheriff’s Department spokesman later attempted to pad the statement a bit, asserting that the detective that fired the shot might have shot at a”misidentified target”… which would still be a negligent discharge by a ten-year veteran. It’s sloppy gun-handling by an officer that should know better, no matter how you slice it.

This incident leads me to a question I’ve pondered in the past, but have never found a way to satisfactory research: do law enforcement officers have more negligent discharges since the common shift to striker-fired pistols (Glocks, M&Ps, XDs, etc) from revolvers and DA/SA pistols?  The first shot trigger pull on a DA/SA trigger like a SIG 226 or Beretta 92 was still long and relatively heavy and similar to that of a revolver, but striker-fired pistols have a much lighter pull. In the end it comes down to a training/negligence issue, but a longer, stiffer trigger pull that requires more force would seem to provide a small extra margin of physical safety when the mental safety fails.

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