A teacher at a California high school who also serves as a reserve police officer accidentally fired a gun inside a classroom Tuesday, police said, and three students sustained minor injuries.
KSBW-TV reports that Dennis Alexander was at Seaside High School in Seaside, Calif., teaching a lesson about gun safety for his Administration of Justice class when his gun went off at 1:20 p.m.
Alexander was pointing his gun at the ceiling when it fired. Pieces of the ceiling fell to the ground.
A news release from the Seaside Police Department says no one was seriously injured. A 17-year-old boy was injured by bullet fragments that ricocheted off the ceiling and lodged into his neck, the student's father says.
The boy's parents were shocked when he returned home with blood on his shirt and bullet fragments in his neck. They took him to a hospital for X-rays.
"He's shaken up, but he's going to be OK," says the father, Fermin Gonzales. "I'm just pretty upset that no one told us anything, and we had to call the police ourselves to report it."
Alexander has been placed on administrative leave from his teaching job, and he was also placed on administrative leave from his position at the Sand City, Calif., Police Department.
Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante says: "I have concerns about why he was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom. We will be looking into that."
Teachers are not legally allowed to have firearms in California classrooms, even if they have a concealed carry permit.
The teacher had just told the class that he wanted to make sure his gun wasn't loaded, when the gun fired, witnesses say. He was about to use the gun for a demonstration about how to disarm someone.