HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBS) — A police officer is recovering from surgery Thursday after being shot in the leg when a fellow officer’s weapon accidentally discharged.
“He’s already out of surgery and he’s resting and recuperating in the hospital with his family and friends,” Huntington Beach Police Captain Russell Reinhert said.
The incident took place around 10 p.m. Wednesday when officers were cleaning their weapons at Huntington Beach Police Department headquarters following a SWAT training session.
“The firearm was pointed at the ground, but the round ricocheted off the floor and struck another officer in the leg,” Reinhert said.
SWAT paramedics from the fire department and a reserve doctor were there when the 20-year veteran was hit and. They were able to treat him before he was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery.
“When one of our own is hit, obviously it’s a little bit different because police officers are experts in weapons. But it goes to show that accidents can happen in any walk of life,” Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.
Police say the officers are friends, and the 13-year veteran, whose gun accidentally discharged, will not be placed on leave and feels terrible about what happened.
Authorities are unsure how a bullet was still in the handgun while it was being cleaned.
“Whatever happened it’s part of the investigation that we’re looking into on how the firearm was discharged but no, when firearms are cleaned, they’re empty, there’s no rounds kept in them,” Reinhert said.
Both the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Huntington Beach Police Department are investigating the incident.