Fresno Sheriff Tries To Excuse Deputy's Shooting Death As An "Accident"

A Fresno County Sheriff’s detective shot and killed a deputy Monday while irresponsibly playing with a loaded weapon in an incident that Sheriff Margaret Mims is already trying to sweep under the rug.


A California deputy was accidentally fatally shot in the chest during a chat with a detective about firearms, the Fresno County Sheriff announced Tuesday.

Sgt. Rod Lucas, a 20-year veteran who had been on the force since he was 26, was shot in an office Monday as he talked about backup weapons, the sheriff said.

“So far, we have absolutely no reason to believe this was [anything] more than a tragic accidental shooting,” Sheriff Margaret Mims said.

Two other employees were in the room, but were not hit.

The detective and the others tried CPR and other attempts to save Lucas, but he died at a hospital.

“Rod Lucas was very well-respected. He truly was a leader in the best terms that I can describe,” Mims said. “He was looked up to by those that worked with him. He was the sergeant that people wanted to work for.”

The name of the detective, who has not been interviewed yet, was not released. He is a nine-year veteran of the department.

This is a heck of a lot more than a “tragic accidental shooting.”

The detective in question drew a loaded weapon in a crowded room in a discussion about backup guns. He then pointed that loaded weapon at Sgt. Rod Lucas. The defective detective then pulled the trigger of that gun, shooting Sgt. Lucas in the chest, killing him.

These are all indisputable facts that left four children fatherless.

Sheriff Margaret Mims

The unnamed Fresno County Sheriff’s detective violated every possible rule of gun safety before pulling the trigger.

gunsite rules

  1. He unholstered a loaded gun in an office environment.
  2. He pointed that loaded gun at Sg. Lucas.
  3. He put his finger on the trigger of that loaded weapon.
  4. He negligently pulled the trigger on that loaded handgun, and shot a fellow officer to death.

This kind of negligent (not “accidental”) shooting would quickly result in an arrest for a criminally negligent homicide pretty much everywhere in the nation if it had been the result of a regular Joe playing with a gun and it “going off,” whether at the range. or in someone’s home.

As shooters, we know that every time we touch a firearm we need to do so deliberately and with safety in mind. This applies whether we are in military, law enforcement, or regular civilian contexts. We are responsible for our behavior with our firearms, and we should all be held accountable by those standards.

Sheriff Margaret Mims and Fresno County District Attorney Lisa A. Smittcamp have a duty to their citizens and the wider concept of Justice (the capitalized kind) to make sure everyone is treated equally under the eyes of the law.

If I shot someone in this manner I would expect to be investigated and arrested on a criminally negligent homicide charge do to my grossly negligent actions.

This was not an accident, and as horrible as this situation is for everyone involved, justice demands that the detective face a criminal investigation, not a whitewash.

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