Rookie cop who killed himself removed clip, left bullet in chamber

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Thread: Rookie cop who killed himself removed clip, left bullet in chamber

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Rookie cop who killed himself removed clip, left bullet in chamber

    As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:

    Rookie cop who killed himself removed clip, left bullet in chamber

    Jaxon Van Derbeken,John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writers

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    The San Francisco rookie police officer who accidentally shot himself to death fired his weapon while displaying for a female friend how officers are taught to avoid having their guns used against them, law enforcement authorities said Tuesday.

    The incident happened at 1:40 a.m. Saturday during a gathering of as many as 15 people at the San Mateo apartment of the 23-year-old officer, James Gustafson Jr.

    According to those familiar with the incident, Gustafson was showing his Police Department-issued semiautomatic pistol after removing the clip that stores the rounds. He explained that there are ways an officer can disable a weapon in close proximity to keep it from being fired.

    It apparently was part of a demonstration of the department's "weapons retention" procedures. However, there was still a bullet in the chamber.

    Gustafson pointed the weapon at his neck and pulled the trigger, shooting himself, according to authorities.

    San Francisco Police Department policy is never to point a gun at a target that an officer does not intend to shoot, authorities said.

    San Mateo police Capt. Kevin Raffaelli, whose agency is leading the investigation of the incident, declined to comment Tuesday other than to say that police do not believe other officers were present at the time of the shooting.

    Some of those at the party apparently were drinking, authorities said. Toxicology results from Gustafson's autopsy will not be available for several weeks.

    Gustafson graduated from the San Francisco Police Academy in January and had just finished a six-month stint in the Mission District under a field training officer. He had recently been assigned to the department's Central Station.

    E-mail the writers at jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com and jcoté@sfchronicle.com.

    This article appeared on page B - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

    The report can be found at; http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl.../BA9ERIE64.DTL

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    It is a shame. A little common sense, and less drive to impress, would have gone along way...

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    SCW
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    He was dumb. Just pain dumb, and sometimes dumb wears a uniform.
    Last edited by JD; August 19th, 2007 at 05:09 PM. Reason: removed deleted quote

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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCW View Post
    Not me, he was dumb. Just pain dumb, and sometimes dumb wears a uniform.
    Yep. Rules 1, 2, & 3 were clearly not in effect for this guy. It's a shame he had to die over it, but I hope anyone who carries a gun takes this as a lesson.

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    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    Sounds like he was showing off for the female friend. Also alcohol may have been a factor. Not a good combination if so.
    DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.

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    Don't follow the rules at your own expense...
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Member Array Whyveear's Avatar
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    Some people think safeties are safer. I have always said that they can lead to more accidental deaths/injuries as people rely on them (in this case a mag safety that apparently didn't exist) to compensate for not following the rules for safe handling.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    It is a shame. A little common sense, and less drive to impress, would have gone along way...
    Yep. :(

    How many of us males as teens have injured ourselves, got our lip busted or eye bruised, or just barely cheated death due to trying ti show out for a piece of tail. Most every one of us, and those who haven't are liars.

    This story as sad as it is makes for an excellent tale to pass on to our own sons (and daughters too!) toward how the basics of firearm safety _never_ ever can practiced enough no matter how old you are, how comfortable with firearms you might grow, or what level of weapons handling experience you might have.

    The lesson here is simple, plain, very old...and when ignored or forgotten and broken the result can be painfully embarrassing and as seen here worst.

    As a refresher for any and all including myself too...

    1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.


    2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.


    3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.


    Source - http://www.nrahq.org/education/guide.asp

    It's a damn shame what happened to this kid.
    Now that room full of friends, the girl, and likely members of his family too likely all being San Franciscans will be that much more hardened against firearms in society overall. As well this 'gun crime' will be added to the Sarah Brady tabulation as both a 'killing' (they largely ignore suicides and tend to lump accidental shootings and acts of self defense in with otherwise street crime related shootings for sake of big number visual impact) and again under shootings within a home/residence as ammunition that possession of as much in _anyones_ home will only lead to same or worse.

    Folks there are easier, safer, more fruitful ways to impress a <person of your preference> toward scoring a win.
    Keep your guns locked and/or in their locked cases during parties, and drinking, and late night bleary eyed entertaining. Stuff can and does happen from inattention alone.

    As to scoring a date hell it ain't that difficult to do with just words alone, we've all done it or will sooner if not later.

    If only someone or his dad had told this kid same. :|

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Member Array vernonator's Avatar
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    I hate to sound crass but sounds like the Gene pool just got a bit cleaner. He was a fool and paid the price.....maybe a Darwin Award candidate?

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    Member Array NFEDERIC's Avatar
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    I don't think he should be a Darwin candidate, just poor common sense and a bad outcome.
    Nick.

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    poor common sense and a bad outcome
    That is it in a nutshell - and sad too as so very avoidable.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NFEDERIC View Post
    I don't think he should be a Darwin candidate, just poor common sense and a bad outcome.
    Agreed.

    Lets have some degree of respect for him and his families loss as he was a peace officer, and a human being.

    As well let this serve as a memorial to never forget those three simple rules of firearms handling which as based on repeated results throughout history are not all that common sensical.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Member Array randyman_ar's Avatar
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    Totally preventable, and thats what makes it so tragic. Alcohol never mixes well with firearms or common sense. I feel for the parents. Imagine how proud they were back in Jan., and then lose him to something so foolish.
    Deliver us from the democratic party!

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    Member Array KellyCooper's Avatar
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    This may be side tracking the thread a bit, but I wonder how many "other" people (aka general public) will react to this. LEOs are required to submit to countless hours of firearms training and this still happened. My point is, will they think that because this happened to someone who has trained extensively that it is more likely to happen to a civilian CCW holder? Will it cast a negative light on those who the public may look at as "less trained"? Or should we have faith that the general public will see through to the fact that this one guy was not following ANY safety procedures?
    ~~~the biggest deficit of the general public is a lack of personal accountability.. I have no one to blame for my actions, regardless of circumstances, except myself and by the same token I can hold no one else responsible for my protection and well being other than myself~~~

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    One can never be too careful with firearms, or with any tool, for that matter.

    This is a tragedy for the officer, his family, and his friends...may he rest in peace.

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