Incident occurred on November 14, 2005 , the final day of a four-day defensive course at approximately 4:15 p.m.
15 students were on the firing line along with the Front Sight Range Master and other Line Coaches.
The students were at 5 yards and shooting at turning, electronic targets.
The student was presenting his weapon from a concealed holster when the incident occurred.
The student was doing very well in the course with no indications of improper procedures or safety violations.
Weapon used was a Sig 9mm handgun with no obvious modifications.
Bullet was 115 grain, full metal jacket.
Powder burns on the student's pants and at the muzzle end of the holster indicate that the weapon was fired while the gun was at least partially still in the holster.
The student was immediately cared for by two of Front Sight's medics and a fellow student who was also a medic.
The bullet entered the lateral aspect of the upper thigh about five inches below the point of the hip, traveled just under the skin for approximately five inches, exited from under the skin at about mid-thigh.
The bullet struck the ground near the student's feet and was not recovered.
First aid in the form of a compression bandage and vital sign monitoring was administered by Front Sight's EMT's. The student remained remarkably calm with strong vital signs, and relatively no sign of pain from the injury.
The student was transported by helicopter to a hospital emergency room in Las Vegas .
The student was cared for at the emergency room and discharged within two hours.
The only way a weapon can be fired is to place a finger on the trigger and then press the trigger. Using the physical evidence available and discussions with student, it appears the only explanation for this incident is the following:
The student stated that he probably did not decock the hammer after his last firing drill and before holstering. This resulted in the holstering a loaded weapon with the hammer cocked. On the next presentation or “draw stroke” of his weapon, he swept the concealment garment away, established the proper firing grip with finger along the outside of the holster. As he began to withdraw the weapon from the holster, he likely violated Safety Rule 3 and allowed his finger inside the trigger guard which contacted the lighter, single-action trigger instead of the heavier double-action trigger causing the weapon to fire.
Remember that the proper draw stroke involves keeping your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until the weapon is pointed downrange at the target. Again, the only way a weapon can be fired is to press the trigger.
As the students involved in the above incidents have requested, let their negligent discharges be a learning experience for all. Again, realize that millions of presentations are performed every year at Front Sight without incident by students of various experience levels, many of whom have never shot a gun before in their lives. This clearly demonstrates Front Sight’s stellar safety record and proves that if you learn the proper techniques to present your weapon from the holster, you too can be fast, effective, accurate, and safe.