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NDSU Officer Who Shot Himself Is Just One Of Many Fargo Residents Involved In Recent Accidental Shootings

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A string of gun accidents in a famous North Dakota town also apparently includes a local police officer shooting himself.

Fargo, made famous by a Coen Brothers film of the same name, has been home to six accidental shootings in the last month, said Lt. Joel Vettel. One of those cases involved an off-duty North Dakota State University police officer who accidentally shot himself in the arm.

Two of the other shootings also resulted in injuries, one of which was a fatal head wound. Vettel said Fargo police typically see one to two accidental shootings a month during the course of a year.

The shooting involving the off-duty NDSU police officer took place just before midnight on Sept. 13 in an apartment. During the incident, a bullet fired from a .40-caliber Glock hit the officer in the arm before lodging in a wall. The officer, identified as Patrick Thomas by NDSU Police Chief William Vandal, has been suspended and is on personal medical leave.

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The school is conducting an internal review of the incident and will decide how to handle Thomas once the review has been completed, the Park Rapids Enterprise reported.

According to Vettel, all of the accidental shootings involved handguns and represent one of the most important lessons about firearms. No matter how well trained someone is in handling guns, “There’s always a potential that these firearms can go off,” he said.

 Sources: Park Rapids Enterprise, WDAY