I’m not a law enforcement officer, but I have to believe that investigating reports of poaching have to be among the tensest things an officer can do. After all, poachers are, by definition, armed. They’re armed and already breaking the law, which means they’re probably not law-abiding.
Now, imagine you get shot while doing such an investigation. What’s your first instinct going to be?
Probably that the poacher you’re investigating shot you.
Well, for a Texas sheriff’s deputy, that wasn’t the case.
A Parker County deputy was shot with his own gun on Monday and was not ambushed by an illegal hunter, Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler says.
Investigators initially believed Deputy Jarrett Turner was shot by a hunter while investigating a complaint about poaching on private property along Cattlebaron Road.
The investigation found Turner was shot by his own backup gun, which malfunctioned, Fowler said. Turner was shot in the foot and was treated and released from a Fort Worth hospital.
“This investigation has led us down several avenues,” Fowler said. “This incident was not an accidental discharge. It was a weapons malfunction from a concealed backup weapon which was secured and holstered on his person.”
Body cam footage shows that the deputy’s hand wasn’t anywhere near the weapon when it fired. It also shows that he wasn’t traveling through thick underbrush that might have gotten tangled with the weapon in depressed the trigger.
This will lead to a lot of questions. At this point, we don’t know what the backup weapon was or what kind of holster it was, and those are going to be major questions going forward.
If you carry a backup weapon, make sure it’s a quality firearm and that it’s secured in a quality holster.
What happened with Deputy Turner sure does look like a freak accident, but I rarely find guns going off “accidentally.” If they do, it’s a fault in the firearm itself or a holster failure. Those seem like the most likely culprits in this instance.
Of course, if we find out exactly what happens, I half-expect my guess to be completely wrong.
Either way, it seems pretty clear that Deputy Turner didn’t somehow manipulate the weapon directly. It also looks like the suspicion that a poacher had shot the deputy was a reasonable assumption under the circumstances. It’s only too bad that resources were spent trying to find the shooter, only for it to be what looks like a weapon malfunction.
Regardless, this is a story that clearly needs to be followed. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants more details on this, especially since “accidental discharge” is more often a case of a negligent discharge. If it’s a true malfunction, there are details the general public will need to learn. After all, how many of us are carrying these very same guns on a daily basis? How many are using these holsters?
We all want the details so we can make sure we don’t have a similar situation take place.
This is especially important for people carrying appendix inside the waistband. Am I right?