Officer involved in accidental shooting
July 01, 2010 @ 12:00 AM
HUNTINGTON -- An officer with the Huntington Police Department is on administrative leave while his friend receives treatment at a local hospital in what investigators describe to be an off-duty, accidental shooting.
Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook issued a press release that identified Officer Daniel Wiles as accidentally firing the shot that injured his friend, 25-year-old Justin Kinder. The incident happened about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 1300 block of 4th Avenue. The victim received a gunshot wound to the left shoulder.
Holbrook's release described Kinder to be in good condition with non-life threatening injuries.
Huntington Police Capt. Rick Eplin said Wiles, off-duty at the time, accompanied and helped Kinder after the shooting to get to Cabell Huntington Hospital. After that, investigators learned of the incident, Eplin said.
The shooting involved Wiles' personally-owned firearm, Holbrook's release states. Eplin said Wiles did not have his departmental weapon at the time, but it has since been turned over to the department as a matter of normal protocol.
The department's incident report, according to Eplin, states Kinder told police he only recalled hearing a loud noise and then realized he was shot. Investigators found the gun on a nearby sidewalk at the scene and a phone belonging to Kinder.
The captain said investigators know few details as to what led to the shooting. Those questions include the specific location, although he said investigators have no reason to believe it occurred indoors. He hopes to gain additional information as interviews continue.
"I don't know where they were, what they were doing and what the circumstances were," he said. "I don't want to speculate."
Wiles joined the police force in late June 2009 at age 24. He joined as another member of a family that administrators said have dedicated themselves to public service on the city's police and fire departments.
Eplin said Wiles neither had worked nor was scheduled to work within hours of the shooting. The captain was unable to provide specifics as to Wiles' last day worked or next day scheduled, as Eplin said the officer had variable days off as a patrolman.
Holbrook's release states Wiles will remain on administrative leave while fellow Huntington Police Department officers conduct criminal and administrative investigations.
Eplin said the department is handling its own investigation. No outside agencies have been asked to assist, although Eplin said his department will consult with whoever it needs. He said his officers are treating Wednesday's shooting like any other investigation.
Holbrook's release states the criminal investigation will determine if any laws were violated. The administrative investigation will determine if Wiles violated any departmental policies.
Results of those investigations will determine any subsequent action, the release states.