Saturday, March 8, 2014

Connersville, Indiana Police Chief Involved in Accidental Shooting for Second Time in 15 Years - That We Know Of

Connersville, Indiana Police Chief David Counceller
Local news reports
The police chief's department-issue Glock 23 handgun accidentally fired, while he was shopping for a separate weapon.
"The store owner asked me if I was hit. I felt some burning," Counceller said.
He added, "I asked a paramedic to put a bandage on my wound, and I drove myself to the hospital. It was a superficial wound."
"I don't have to be in an accident. I get ribbed all the time. It's part of the job," Counceller said.
The shooting in January was the second time Counceller had to deal with an accidental shooting.
In January 1999, he shot his hand while repairing a .380 automatic handgun, which he says had a retaining pin that kept falling off. Counceller says he was unaware that there was a bullet in the weapon's chamber.
"I felt pretty stupid, but it was my fault. I was not paying attention," he said.
Counceller rose through the ranks of the Connersville Police Department, which he joined in 1980. He's been police chief for the past seven years.


  1. Mike, as you know, I'm a firm believer of the military model in dealing with negligent discharges. That is, some sort of punishment and retraining. If, as in this case, he injures himself, that's an added painful reminder, though in this case, the Chief seems to be a slow learner. However, these instances of negligence have very different circumstances. As in different lessons learned.
    In the area of criminal charges, most cities have laws against illegal discharge of a firearm. But then we bump into the paradigm of how often are the police held accountable for misbehavior.
    If I were in that jurisdiction, I would challenge the Chief to treat this like a negligent discharge by one of his officers. My guess would be the normal punishment would be retraining and some kind of unpaid suspension.

    1. Haven't I shown enough examples of special treatment for civilian offenders to make your assertions about law enforcement empty? It may be true that "most cities have laws against illegal discharge of a firearm" but as far as I can see they're rarely enforced unless there are other complications.

  2. I came across an interesting article regarding what the investigation found in this incident. I still have to hold the chief responsible in that when your holster is out of the holster, the potential for harm to someone is much greater, and it is his responsibility to ensure that his holster is clear of such things before replacing the firearm.
    That being said, I'm also glad that he didn't make what is an all too common happening in which people put their biscuit pickers inside the trigger guard when their sights aren't on the target.

    "On the day of the shooting, Counceller's hands were not on the trigger, but his fleece jacket's drawstring found its way into his holster.
    "When pulling up on that jacket, this thing comes up, basically hits the safety and fired," he said.
    Based on the store video, an internal police investigation concluded that the jacket's drawstring "caused the weapon to fire."

    "Several police groups are expected to issue a proactive warning to be mindful of clothing that could interfere with their weapons."

    1. Freak accident or still negligence???