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Michigan woman dead: Officer's weapon accidently discharges

The Detroit, Michigan, police department is reeling after an off-duty officer's weapon accidentally went off and killed a 24-year-old woman. Extending numerous apologies and condolences to the victim's family, the initial investigation is shedding some light on the tragic fatal accident.

Apparently, the off-duty officer was hosting a fish fry at his house Saturday night. He had his police department-issued hand gun concealed in his waistband. The carrying of weapons when off-duty is completely up to the discretion of individual officers and not against any policy, the police chief said.

According to the preliminary investigation, the woman's hand most likely jarred or manipulated the gun while the two were dancing. The barrel's direction was disturbed and the trigger probably caught on his waistband and discharged. This particular Wesson semiautomatic .40 caliber does not have a safety switch.

The victim's family has several unanswered questions regarding the events of the evening; particularly why the officer felt it necessary to have a concealed handgun on his person with a bullet in the chamber at his own house party. All of the guests in attendance that night are cooperating with the investigation.

As is policy when someone is killed, the officer has been placed on administrative leave. The police chief emphasized that an ongoing investigation will delve deeper in the responsibility, liability and the course of events that evening. It is possible that alcohol and negligent behavior may have contributed to the wrongful death of the young woman. It is also possible that the gun may have malfunctioned, placing liability squarely on the shoulders of the manufacturer.

Source: news.yahoo.com, "Detroit Woman Dead After Hugging Off-Duty Cop, Discharging Gun," Colleen Curry, July 9, 2012

Source: news.yahoo.com, "Police Chief on fatal incident," July 9, 2012

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