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Lodi police investigate accidental shooting

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Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:00 am

Lodi police said a young boy caused a SWAT team member’s firearm to discharge during a reading event hosted for children last Saturday. The SWAT member suffered a minor flesh wound and police are continuing to investigate the incident, Lodi Police Capt. Chris Piombo said.

“Any time a weapon is discharged, we conduct an administrative investigation to make sure we comply with policy,” Piombo said.

During the Little Buckaroos Reading Round-up event, Officer Robert Rench was helping a boy try on pieces of SWAT team gear, when another young boy approached unnoticed. The boy, who witnesses told police was about 6 years old, reached his finger toward the gun and pulled the trigger, Piombo said.

Besides Rench, no one was injured. But a woman left with the child who fired the gun, and so far police have been unable to identify him.

The Glock handguns that SWAT members carry aren’t equipped with a safety, Piombo said.

“There is nothing we could have done differently,” he said. “It was just an accident. It boggles the mind why a child would do that.”

Lodi police detectives are conducting an investigation and reviewing security footage. Piombo said that because of the child’s age, he wouldn’t face any charges.

“It’s an unfortunate incident,” he said. “We’re thankful none of the community members were hurt and that Robert was alright. I think we all learned something from it.”

Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at krisa@lodinews.com.

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  • Ted Lauchland posted at 1:01 pm on Tue, Sep 3, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 229


    Lesson learned I'm sure. Kid's curiosity can never be guarded against enough. A subject serious enough to pay attention to when things go wrong.

  • John Kindseth posted at 8:09 pm on Mon, Sep 2, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 228

    When a person makes an emergency call for a policeman, they want a real one to come, not one with a water pistol, empty holster or empty gun.

    Are bloggers experts in the many issues of police preparedness ??

    If you don't like it, next time you need police help, call a Crip or a Blood.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 1:26 pm on Sun, Sep 1, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    Why doesn't LPD carry tasers yet? They are as old fashioned and backwards as the three amigos who run city hall?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:42 am on Sun, Sep 1, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4306

    “There is nothing we could have done differently,” he said. “It was just an accident. It boggles the mind why a child would do that.”

    So, what LPD is saying is that it is routine to take actual weapons with LIVE ammo to events that involve children.

    Even for demonstration purposes.

    "Boggles my mind why..." What children do, have done, and will do boggles the minds of all adults. Why should this event surprise anyone?

    This is just crazy. I certainly hope LPD policy will be amended to avoid a future incident that just might end in tragedy.

  • roy bitz posted at 11:04 am on Sat, Aug 31, 2013.

    roy bitz Posts: 489

    Unavoidable accident?
    Why no safety on swat team gun?



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