Armed Teacher Injures Students When Handgun Accidentally Fires During Gun Safety Class

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 14, 2018

A California teacher and reserve police officer was placed on leave after he accidentally fired a gun in the classroom, injuring one student.

"He's shaken up, but he's going to be OK", Gonzales told KSBW.

The student's injuries appeared superficial and were not life threatening, police said.

The incident occurred at 1:20 p.m. local time (4:20 p.m. EDT) when Dennis Alexander was conducting Administration of Justice class and teaching the students about gun safety.

The gun was pointed towards the ceiling when it fired causing pieces of the ceiling to fall on the ground. The man was just to explain the attendees about pistol safety when the weapon went off, the slug hitting the ceiling. He told KSBW that Alexander had told the class that he wanted to make sure the gun wasn't loaded when it accidentally discharged.

Alexander was placed on administrative leave from his teaching job and he was also placed on administrative leave at the Sand City Police Department.

UPDATE 5pm: Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante says that Alexander had his last gun safety training "a little less than a year ago".

Under California law, teachers are not permitted to be armed. Because using anything besides a gun wouldn't have been as effective I guess and the best way to unload a gun is to shoot it in a class full of kids.

According to Abdul Pridgen, chief of the Seaside Police Department, Alexander was pointing the firearm at the ceiling when he inadvertently fired it.

The student's father Fermin Gonzales said he understands that it was an accident but said that "somebody could have died".

Dennis Alexander of Seaside City Council.

Teachers in California are not allowed to carry firearms inside the class, even if they have a carry permit for concealed weapons. A single shot was sacked from a semi-automatic handgun into the ceiling, according to the Seaside Police Department.

"I think a lot of questions on parents' minds are, why a teacher would be pointing a loaded firearm at the ceiling in front of students", Diffenbaugh said.

'Upon learning of the incident, our Human Resources department, school site administration and the Seaside Police Department immediately began investigating the incident, including interviewing students in the class.

He adds that, "Clearly, we will revisit this incident to ensure that something like this would never happen again". His track record was described as "positive and professional" and he was also made the 2013 Reserve Office of the Year.

The incident comes amid a national debate on how to protect students from mass shootings like the one that took the lives of 17 students in Parkland, Fla., on February 14.

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