Marietta officer hit by shrapnel after accidental gunshot at Bartow gun range

A Marietta police officer was injured after another officer accidentally fired a gunshot into the ground while at a training seminar in Bartow County, authorities said.

Two pieces of shrapnel struck the officer’s leg after the gunshot, Marietta police spokesman Chuck McPhilamy told AJC.com. The incident happened at the Georgia Power Firing Range along Picklesimer Road shortly before 12:30 p.m.

Officers were at the gun range for their biannual firearms qualifications, McPhilamy said. At the end of the training exercises, the officers disassemble their weapons so they can inspect the finer parts of their firearms. 

They go through a process called “clearing” to make sure the weapon is not loaded and won’t accidentally fire, he said. The officers point the handguns down at the ground during the process.

“One officer was trying to clear the weapon, and in the process of clearing the weapon, they accidentally discharged the weapon,” McPhilamy said. “(The bullet) struck the ground, which is supposed to happen if there’s an accidental discharge.”

When the bullet hit the ground, two small pieces of shrapnel hit another officer in the leg, he said. This caused confusion as to whether the officer was shot in the leg, which is what the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release earlier Friday.

The injured officer was taken to Floyd Medical Center and was released shortly after, McPhilamy said. 

“Fortunately, they were following safety protocol, so no one was seriously injured,” he said.

No charges are expected to filed, according to the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office.

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