The shooting occurred inside Georgia State University's Parker H. Petit Science Center, school police said. The officer was alert when he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Photo: Johnny Crawford/
Photo: Johnny Crawford/

Georgia State University security guard accidentally shoots himself in science center

A Georgia State University security guard accidentally shot himself in the thigh in the school’s science center in downtown Atlanta, police said.

According to an incident report obtained Tuesday by, the guard was sitting at the security desk inside the Parker H. Petit Science Center when a double-barreled pistol in his backpack discharged. The report did not specify how the gun went off, but did note the weapon was not issued by the university police. While guards are university police employees, they do not get department-issued guns.

“Security guards are unarmed,” university police Chief Joseph Spillane said.

When police got to the scene in the 100 block of Piedmont Avenue just after 10:30 p.m. Sunday, the injured guard was holding his right thigh and pacing the floor, according to the report.

“I then instructed the male to lay on the floor so I could assess the injuries,” the officer said in the report. “Once on the ground I was able to locate what appeared to be two gunshot wounds to the upper right thigh.”

The officer removed the guard’s belt and and used it as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding until emergency personnel arrived.

“While waiting on EMS, the victim stated he had the firearm in his backpack because he felt unsafe riding the train to work,” the officer said in the report.

The guard was alert when he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. He has since been released from the hospital and is at home resting, Spillane said.

The guard “definitely is going to face a disciplinary hearing, he said. “They're not supposed to bring (weapons) to work. We have rules and policies against it. He’ll definitely face some administrative discipline, the level of which I'm not positive on at this point.” 

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