Sunday 18 August 2019

Garda who shot himself in the foot with own gun recovering in hospital as GSOC launch investigation

Armed garda. (Stock picture)
Armed garda. (Stock picture)
Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) headquarters in Dublin
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A garda is recovering in hospital after shooting himself in the foot with his own gun.

The officer - who is attached to a specialist firearms unit in the south-east of the country - was injured after his gun accidentally went off.

The Garda Ombudsman is examining the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

The accident occurred in the Mayorstone garda district of Limerick on Thursday while the garda was sitting in a patrol vehicle.

He was later hospitalised and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

On Thursday night a referral was made to the Garda Ombudsman in relation to the matter, as is standard when a garda’s weapon goes off and causes injury.

The scene was sealed-off to facilitate investigators from the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Sources said the injured officer has been with the firearms unit over the past year and is considered to be an experienced officer.

Garda headquarters said that, as the matter is being investigated by the Garda Ombudsman, any queries should be referred to GSOC.

A spokesman for the Garda Ombudsman confirmed that it had received a referral in relation to an incident.

“GSOC is not making any further comments at this time,” the spokesman added.

PANews_P-2118c7b2-2253-4769-a7d6-fe881a0b84c1_I1.jpg
Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) headquarters in Dublin

The referral was made under Section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

The act states that gardaí must refer any matter to GSOC that “appears to the Garda Commissioner to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person”.

The GSOC is at an examination phase, which will determine if a thorough investigation will need to be carried out by the Ombudsman.

A separate GSOC investigation earlier this year, involving members of armed unit who lost a firearm, concluded that no disciplinary proceedings should taken against two detectives.

Last July a sub-machine gun was “temporarily misplaced” after it fell out of the back of a garda vehicle leaving Harcourt Square in Dublin city centre.

The weapon was picked up by a member of the public who brought it to Store Street garda station.

The Garda Ombudsman said that, on the balance of probabilities, the car boot in which the unloaded sub-machine gun was placed was closed over when the driver started the car engine.

READ MORE: Gardaí 'should not be disciplined' over submachine gun lost on street in capital

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