An entry here the other day titled Accidental handgun discharges and Glock was inspired by two recent incidents and was an editorial about the frequency of accidental handgun discharges involving that particular brand of handguns. Here are some details about those incidents.
Case #1 - Accidental Glock discharge at Crockett Jr. High in Odessa
A lot of people are very angry about this, but no one was hurt -- a fact for which surely everyone is thankful.
To recap, Crockett Jr. High School principal Van Grady was arrested a few days following the discharge of a handgun in the school on February 24, 2006. Jeff Maher of News West 9 interviewed one of Mr. Grady's in-laws, Cindy Carlson, and published a report at the News West 9 website. Excerpts:
NewsWest 9 has obtained copies of the arrest and search warrant affidavits, detailing what Grady told officers, and what was found inside his car parked on campus, in the early stages of the investigation into the incident.
They go on to say he later admitted to accidently shooting a gun, but claimed he didn't know the guns were inside the gym bag.
The fired bullet went through a wall, and into a bathroom. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Now, one of Grady's relatives is talking about what happened that day, saying what happened was just accident.
"For some reason, that day, he put his weapons in his workout bag instead of the gun bag," Carlson acknowledged.
Carlson said that, before he comes to school, Grady often works out, and changes clothes at the office, using his gym bag ... but, accidentally had the guns inside.
"And brings the bag into his office," she described, "And he had a cold, too. Ao he reached in the bag to get his cough medicine, and he barely picks the bag up off the ground and, when he put his hand in - that particular gun doesn't have a safety on it - and the gun went off."
A Glock doesn't have a manual safety on it. There were two handguns recovered, a .40 caliber Glock 23 and a 380 Bersa (.355 caliber). All the public information about this incident points to the Glock as the one that discharged.
This could have been a serious tragedy, and I'm sure the parents of the students at the school all must have let out a huge sigh of relief before they started gunning for Mr. Grady, metaphorically speaking. As it stands Mr. Grady was put on paid suspension, a replacement was brought in, the Superintendent has said publicly that Mr. Grady's contract which expires in a few months will not be renewed, and Mr. Grady was arrested by the Odessa Police Department.
Few handguns are as easily discharged as a Glock, and I believe that none of this would have happened if he had had some other brand of handgun in his bag than a Glock. I'm not trying to justify the breaking of the law, I'm merely focusing on the handgun and the problems that seem to follow that brand like a dog on a leash.
However, one needn't look too far to find a possible reason for Mr. Grady's desire to carry a handgun. See Odessa American, October 1, 2004, Teens escape youth center in the Odessa. Excerpts:
Two 16-year-old Odessa boys accused of attacking a cook at the Ector County Youth Center, stealing her car and escaping from the facility remained at large Thursday evening.
The foot chase caused the Ector County Independent School District to lock down five schools, because they were in the vicinity of where the escapees were running.
From 8:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Crockett and Bowie junior highs, Noel and Pease elementaries and Odessa High School locked their doors and restricted outside activity.
Van Grady, principal of Crockett, said he heard about the chase on the police scanner, called the ECISD offices downtown, then put the campus on lockdown.
"It was taking place just a block from here," Grady said. "I knew the guys were on the loose and dangerous. First thing I was concerned about was safety."
Case #2 - Accidental Glock Discharge in Hobbs Leaves One Dead
The incident occurred in Hobbs, New Mexico, on March 4, 2006. Here's the report from the Odessa American:
Monday, March 06, 2006
Hobbs man dies after being shot
Hobbs, N.M. A 24-year-old man died at a Lubbock hospital after being shot in the head early Saturday at a home in the 700 block of East Mesquite Drive. Daniel Melton died at University Medical Center at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a house supervisor.
According to the news release, officers say 33-year-old Donald Colvin was handling a .45 caliber pistol when the gun discharged, sending a bullet through a wall and striking Melton, who was in a separate room.
Police were continuing to investigate the incident Saturday, according to the news release.
Commander Donnie Graham of the Hobbs Police Department said the gun was a .45 caliber Glock 36 pistol. (He also pointed out that the victims correct name is Donny Melton.)
I don't believe an official ruling has been made yet, but the most logical explanation is that this was yet another accidental discharge of a Glock handgun.