BRIMFIELD, Ohio - Addressing rumors about an officer firing his weapon in Field High School, Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver turned to a familiar forum: The department’s Facebook page.
There he issued a long screed laying out “the facts.”
A gun was fired in the high school, but it was an accidental discharge that was “likely a malfunction,” says Oliver, who prefaced his response by saying the rumors were “stoked by someone who REALLY doesn’t like me, or the police department.”
It happened after school resource officers returned from a firing range and were cleaning their guns, having locked themselves in a “cinder block room.”
Oliver admitted he questioned the officers’ judgment “at even thinking about cleaning weapons at the high school” but explained they didn’t want to leave the school “unguarded.”
Here is the full statement from Facebook:
There are some rumors floating around, stoked by someone who REALLY doesn’t like me, or the police department, for whatever reason. The person is not important, but I will address the rumors. I know lots of you already know this info, because I have told you. It has also been on our FB page.
In December, there was an accidental discharge of a weapon in the high school. The school resource officers were in a locked cinder block room. The officers had been at the range the evening before and had dirty weapons. They locked themselves down and started cleaning their weapons. When the weapons were reassembled, the discharge occurred while the weapon was being loaded and charged. We are told it was likely a malfunction with the weapon. It was sent out for testing.
This incident did NOT OCCUR NEAR ANY classrooms, students or civilians, regardless of what the anonymous coward is telling media outlets. The round entered the cinder block wall and did not exit the other side.
Immediately afterwards, I was called and Captain Adkins and I responded to the scene, along with one of our range supervisors, Sgt. Knarr. I also notified my elected liaison. On scene I told every officer, supervisor and school official...no matter what the investigation reveals, we tell the truth, because that is just what we do.
Captain Adkins completed the investigation on the incident. My main concern, other than the incident, was the decision making process, which had officers arrive at even thinking about cleaning weapons at the high school. The rationale was that the resource officers did not want to leave the schools unguarded while they were on station for an hour maintaining weapons. They decided to do so in a locked room, surrounded by concrete. We have now put coverage in place and given strict instructions on performing weapons maintenance in the future. That function sure won’t be happening at the schools. Both officers were disciplined, one including a three day suspension without pay. They were very apologetic for the incident and also the fact that it could cause a lack of confidence.
Now, I will offer this from my perspective, after the “facts” have been given to you:
The officer who experienced the malfunction resulting in the discharge is a highly decorated U.S. combat veteran. The officer served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is currently a military police officer (reserve) and is not a stranger to weapons and shooting. The officer is also one of the most honest people I have ever met. The officer told me there was a malfunction with the weapon and to me that means there was a malfunction. The officer is safe, professional and loves those children and would not do a thing to place them in harm’s way. This officer WANTS to be a school officer, because of the experience gained from the military. The officer believes he is highly qualified to protect kids...and so do I. No matter what my feelings are, there are rules, so the officers were punished.
Lastly, to the person who keeps calling media outlets, other police agencies and probably the President, spinning lies….you REALLY need to get a hobby or a job. I have never hidden a thing from anyone and will never do so. Because I do not rent a billboard does not mean I am not discussing it. Lots of people knew about this I discussed it here!. You are attacking a military hero and police officer, to further your own cause, whatever that may be. Eventually, you will have to answer for being evil. I sure hope I am there.
Parents, if you have questions or concerns, call or email. You can rest assured..this was a one-time occurrence.….Chief Oliver.