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.”
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