Fort Wayne, IN – Two veteran Fort Wayne police officers were wounded by a single bullet following a training exercise at the agency’s shooting range.
The incident occurred inside the Public Safety Academy shooting room just before 4 p.m. on Mar. 5, Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) Public Information Officer Mark Bieker told reporters during an afternoon press conference.
“At the conclusion of a training exercise, there was an inadvertent discharge of an officer’s weapon,” Officer Bieker explained.
Officer Kerry Haywood, a 24-year veteran of the FWPD, fired a single round, shooting himself in the left hand, WANE reported.
The bullet passed through his hand and grazed Officer Kurt Franceus in the leg.
Officer Franceus has been with the department for 11 years.
“Both officers were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” Officer Bieker told reporters.
It is unclear what transpired prior to the negligent discharge.
“We don't know how it happened,” Officer Bieker said. “That's why the shooting team is here trying to re-create everything as well as talk to other officers that were on scene to get an idea of exactly what took place.”
The FWPD’s shooting team and the agency’s internal affairs division are both investigating the incident.
It was the first time an officer had been shot during a training exercise since 1987, when Officer Omega Graham was fatally wounded while training in Michigan, WANE reported.
Officer Graham, 25, was 13 weeks into the recruit academy when he was shot in the chest by a fellow officer during scenario training, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
FWPD Officer Gary Stevens, a 14-year veteran of the department, had forgotten to unload his .38-caliber revolver prior to the start of the simulation, the Associated Press reported at the time.
Prosecutors declined to charge Officer Stevens in Officer Graham’s death, according to The Bryan Times.