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Md. Training Supervisor Indicted In Accidental Shooting

March 28, 2013  | 

The Baltimore police training supervisor who shot a recruit in the head during an unauthorized firearms exercise will face criminal charges, reports the Baltimore Sun.

A Baltimore County grand jury charged William Kern, 46, with misdemeanor counts of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment stemming from the early February incident.

Raymond Gray, a University of Maryland police recruit, was training with city officers at an abandoned psychiatric hospital, when Kern shot him in the head. Kern has said he thought he was firing Simunition rounds after drawing his service pistol.

Gray was released from trauma care 10 days after the incident but remains non-communicative.

Other officers involved with the incident have been suspended as the Baltimore Police Department completes an internal probe. City police have said top commanders were not aware of the training.

Tags: Officer Disciplined, Baltimore PD, Campus Safety, Accidental Shootings, Training Accidents


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Voice of reason @ 3/28/2013 6:11 PM

As a current LEO and 20 year, retired Marine; one thing I can say with absolute certainty- there are no accidental shootings! There are negligent shootings, but it is the user that must pull the trigger and that is an intional act. If you fail to take all precautions and ignore safety or allow live ammo anywhere near training ammo, you have intentionally set in motion the consequences of your actions! I hate to hear someone say a shooting, killing, or whatever was "accidental"! Call this what it is; an intentional act that should NEVER have happened! My prayers go out to the recruit!

Bob @ VA @ 3/29/2013 5:07 AM

Kern's story makes no sense. To use Simunitions, you have to change out your slide to a unique blue one. There's no mistaken distinguishing between a Simunitions slide and a live ammo slide. In addition, live ammunition cannot be fired with a Simunitions slide. Also, unless the target is wearing a face shield, you never shoot an opponent in the head with Simunitions. A hit would blind someone or worse if shot in the eye. Kern's whole story smells.

Trigger @ 3/29/2013 5:18 AM

At least they did not say "friendly fire". Not paying attention to firearm safety rules has got alot of people injured or killed.

Jim B. @ 3/29/2013 9:38 AM

Voice of Reason, this is the definition of an "accidental shooting" in that he pulled a weapon that he thought was a simmunitions weapon and fired a shot, thinking it was a simmunition round. No one is saying accidental discharge. He knew he was pulling the trigger and meant to pull the trigger, that part wasn't an accident. The firing of a lead bullet instead of a simmunition round was the accident. We can debate whether he should have known what he was doing or how badly he screwed up (very badly). But by your argument you seem to be saying he intentionally shot the recruit with a live round. I really don't think that is the case and I hope you don't either. I do agree with you that this tragedy never should have happened. I'm not defending Kern here. He screwed up, no doubt about it. Everyone who was there screwed up. Every simunitions type training I've been to there are always double and triple checks for live weapons and ammo. Self checks, buddy checks, magnetometer checks, ad nausium. Sometimes it seems like a pain in the ass, but better that than to have something like this happen.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in this incident.

Voice of reason @ 3/29/2013 6:25 PM

Jim B. I do not mean to imply he went into the training meaning to shoot the recruit, I'm just stating it was not an "accident"! Tragedy maybe a better word than accident! There was a failure in the training and the steps that should have been taken " don't appear" to have been taken. In all my training, both military and LEO, I have been trained that there are no accidents! There are a series of events that lead up to all actions and each action has a conclusion. Those conclusions can not occur without deliberate acts or thoughts. I do not believe the officer intended for the conclusion of his actions to have someone shot, but my point is that conclusions of actions are not accidents. My soap box rant is not about the actual tragedy of the recruit getting shot, but more about getting the LEO community in the mindset that there are no accidents and that all actions "good or bad" have a predictable conclusion, which is why we must be absolute in our actions to avoid a senseless tragedy!

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