YORK — Authorities are investigating the cause of accidental gunfire on Monday morning by a sheriffs deputy stationed at York Comprehensive High School.
According to the York County Sheriffs Office, Deputy Dave Prescotts standard-issued Glock 20 caliber gun was accidentally fired an hour before the start of the school day on school grounds.
The gun went off while in Prescotts holster, the shot hitting the sidewalk near the schools outdoor Cougar statue.
Prescott was reporting to the school at the time, where he is assigned as a school resource officer. Some schools in the county have designated officers from the sheriffs office who provide added security for the buildings and their grounds.
There were three students present in the area where the shot went off and at least a dozen more people in the general vicinity, but no one was injured.
Maj. Robert Hudgins of the sheriffs office called the incident puzzling. He added, it is an abnormal event that we intend to find the answers to.
The sheriffs office has statements and video surveillance of the incident, but neither have been released.
We are thankful that no student in the vicinity of the accidental discharge was hurt, and likewise that our deputy was not injured, Hudgins said.
The gun went off at 7:30 a.m., but students do not report for class until 8:40 a.m.
Prescott has served as a school resource officer at York Comprehensive for the last eight years. Prior to that, he worked as a member of the SWAT team, according to the sheriffs office.
He has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending an ongoing investigation into the incident. A sergeant from the sheriffs office is serving temporarily in Prescotts place.
Parents of York Comprehensive students were notified of the incident via phone by the York school districts emergency messaging system, according to Superintendent Vernon Prosser.
Prosser said the district plans to work closely with the sheriffs office to complete the investigation and get at the root cause of the event.
The last accidental firing of a county weapon occurred in April 2012 when an officer was instructing another officer how to dry fire a Glock gun using a type of reloading device at a substation in Fort Mills Baxter Village.
Dry firing is when the gun is fired without releasing a bullet. In that incident, a bullet was accidentally fired and a bullet pierced through a wall and landed into a computer.
The sergeant that fired the gun in the 2012 incident was suspended for 22 hours.
Rock Hill police experienced an accidental firing earlier this month when an off-duty officer placed an issued Glock into the waistband of his pants. The bullet lodged into the officers thigh and he was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Jie Jenny Zou 803-329-4062