Early Tuesday morning, a paranoid Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy irresponsibly fired his weapon at a fellow officer after he was spooked.
The deputy was responding to a call from a man who said he was hearing voices taunting him from across the street. After checking out the situation, he determined that the subject was drunk and determined that he posed no threat. As he was leaving the apartment, he entered a dimly lit stairwell.
According to FOX 40,
He saw a darkened figure at the base of the stairwell who he believed was holding a weapon.
The officer fired one shot from his duty weapon at the figure, who turned out to be a second uniformed officer who was responding to provide cover.
The second officer was uninjured as the round missed him and lodged into the stairwell door frame.
The officer, who is a 10-year veteran with the department, has been removed from his enforcement assignment. Police are now investigating whether or not they should take action against him.
Cops becoming spooked in dark stairwells and shooting at innocent people is hazardous. He could have killed his fellow officer or an innocent civilian and yet they haven’t decided whether not to fire this man.
If a non-law enforcement officer were to discharge a firearm at an innocent person, they would most assuredly be facing charges, even if it was an accident. At the very minimum, this officer is guilty of violating Pen. Code, § 246 .3 of the California state law in regards to negligent discharge of a firearm. He should be arrested and charged.
But he wears a badge and a uniform, so he will likely be given a free pass on this one, as he was just doing his job.
Sadly, cops getting scared and shooting innocent people in dimly lit stairwells is not uncommon. Last November, in New York City, Akai Gurley was walking up a stairwell with his girlfriend when he encountered officer Peter Liang. Liang, being the coward that he was, became startled and drew his weapon. He then fired a lethal round into the chest of this innocent father.
If Liang would have missed, would he still not have been grossly negligent in his duty as a police officer?