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Third-grader fires police officer's gun at Minnesota school

No one was injured in the incident at Maplewood, Minn., school.

A police officer's gun was fired by a child Monday afternoon at a school in Maplewood, Minn., police say, but no one was injured.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the incident took place in the gymnasium at the Harmony Learning Center in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District.

"Obviously it's concerning anytime there's some sort of a weapon discharged," says Maplewood Police Chief Scott Nadeau. "We want to make sure that we do our due diligence in terms of breaking down exactly what happened."

Authorities say school liaison officer Lonn Bakke was in the gym with third- and fourth-graders; he was seated on a bench with students.

A third-grader sitting next to the officer "reached over and placed his finger into the officer's gun holster and pressed the trigger." The gun fired through the bottom of the holster and the round struck the floor.

"The officer was unaware of the child touching his gun until the weapon discharged," a news release said. "The holster was a department-approved level 3 security holster, with trigger guard, that typically cannot be touched or fired in the holster, but the child's small finger was able to reach inside."

The officer was wearing the holster on his hip at the time.

"I think the child had no intention of firing a gun," Nadeau says. "My impression was that it was a curiosity thing."

Police are reviewing the incident and evaluating the style of holster involved. Nadeau says level 3 holsters are "very common" among law enforcement.

"We want to make sure that we're looking at equipment and training and do whatever we can do to make sure something like this never happens again here or somewhere else," the chief says.

 

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