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Washington police chief injured by his service weapon

WASHINGTON — Police Chief Steven Marshall is on administrative duty after accidentally shooting himself in the hand Friday.

“I didn’t pay attention to detail and did not clear the chamber out of my gun,” he said.

The shooting happened in the police station at about 7:30 p.m. Friday night, he said.

He had been target shooting earlier that day and was back at the police station cleaning the Glock 40-caliber handgun he had been shooting, but did not realize the gun magazine had an unfired bullet.

In cleaning the gun he had it pointed away from himself and released the trigger and the bullet fired. Marshall said he is not sure the bullet went through is hand, the explosion of gases that occurs that close to the barrel of the gun burned and “filleted” his hand, he said.

“The majority of the injuries was from the gases exploding,” he said.

He injured his pinky finger and outer palm area.

“There was a lot of damage there,” he said.

After the accident he was able to radio Washington Fire and Rescue. Marshall said he is grateful his friends were able to come to his aid and that the accident was minor compared to what could have happened. Adding he is happy to be teased by his friends and not eulogized by them.

“Anytime a firearm is improperly used it’s a big deal, but it’s my error for not paying attention to detail,” Marshall said.

He is expected to make a full recovery, but will have some ugly scars, he said. “Doctor said I missed all the major structures, ligaments and tendons.”

He returned to work Monday with his bandaged hand and plans to only perform administrative desk duties until his hand is healed and fully functional at which point he can return to patrol duties.

“My hand’s still all wrapped up not usable for daily use,” he said. “I expect to be back on full duty for the beginning of July.”


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