Society

Police Firearms Instructor Shoots Self in Hand

| by Michael Allen

Sgt. Heath Vanek shot himself in the left hand while teaching his family how to handle a 9mm pistol on July 15.

Ironically, Sgt. Vanek works as a firearms instructor for the Hewitt, Tx., Police Department, noted RawStory.com.

Sgt. Vanek was showing family members how to empty the chamber of his personal semi-automatic pistol when the gun accidentally fired.

He will reportedly miss two months of work because of the injury.

"He said, 'I made a classic mistake,'" Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin told the Waco Tribune-Herald. "We are human, too. We are not infallible. We make mistakes, and when we mess up, we mess up and do our best to correct it and get back to giving the public the best service we can."

Chief Devlin noted there would be an internal investigation into the accidental shooting.

“I do see a potential for some re-teaching and some remediation,” added Chief Devlin. “Accidents occur and when you are dealing with a handgun and other weapons, you need to make sure that all your focus is on that. You can’t give it 80 percent. You have to give it 100 percent.”

“He’s a good guy. He gives quite a bit to the department and he gives a lot to the citizens of Hewitt. It’s an unfortunate accident and it is just something we, as a department, will work through.”

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Sources: RawStory.com and Waco Tribune-Herald (Image Credit: Ben Smith)