Accidental shooting grazes student at gun safety course

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OREM — A man who went early to the first day of a firearms training class accidentally shot another classmate Monday while showing off his new handgun.

The incident happened about 5:15 p.m. Monday at the Utah Valley University campus in the Education Building. The first day of a firearms training course for people hoping to become certified police officers in Utah was scheduled to begin in 15 minutes. The course instructor was not in the room yet, said Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez.

Students are not allowed to have ammunition in the classroom. A 23-year-old man who had recently purchased a new handgun had taken the clip out but forgot there was still a round in the chamber, Martinez said.

The man wanted to disassemble his gun to show his friends some of its features. This particular type of gun required the trigger to be pulled to do that, Martinez said.

The bullet that was in the chamber fired, grazing a 25-year-old man's chest. The man was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to a local hospital where the lieutenant said he underwent "very minor" surgery.

While accidental in nature, this is clearly disconcerting to us — the safety of our students is our top priority and concern.

–UVU officials

The rest of the school was on break until the summer block of classes begins on Monday.

An updated condition of the man was not immediately available on Tuesday. Neither the shooter's nor the victim's name were released by police. Martinez said the case is under investigation and no charges had been filed as of Tuesday.

The police academy firearms course has been going on for many years, he said, but this was the first time there had been a shooting accident in class.

UVU released a statement regarding the incident.

"While accidental in nature, this is clearly disconcerting to us — the safety of our students is our top priority and concern," UVU officials wrote. "The incident is currently under investigation by the Orem Police Department to determine how this protocol was breached. UVU has been a satellite academy since 1996 and has never experienced a safety incident of this nature previously. If the investigation yields information that could make the program safer, we are committed to precisely that."

Contributing: Sam Penrod


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