FBI agent accidentally shoots bystander while dancing at nightclub
Police are investigating unnamed agent, who dropped his gun and discharged a round while attempting to retrieve it.
Law enforcement officers reported that an off-duty FBI agent shot a bystander in the leg accidentally when his gun dropped from his holster as he was performing a backflip in the dance-floors of a Colorado pub.
The agent is seen strutting his stuff in what seems to be a lively looking party and then performing a full backflip in a video that went viral on Twitter.
As the gun falls to the floor, the agent is seen trying to grab it when the gun fires a bullet.
A fellow patron is hit by the unintended bullet and rushed to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.
That being said, it is uncertain whether the agent in question will face any disciplinary action or charges pertaining to the incident, reported Metro UK.
The victim is understood to have suffered a leg injury after the off-duty officer’s gun went off unexpectedly.
According to the widely-shared footage, a significant crowd had gathered around the dance-floor after the unnamed agent went wild with his moves on Saturday night at the Mile High Spirits and Distillery bar in Denver, Colorado.
But in a sudden event, patrons were shocked when the gun belonging to the agent went off. After firing the round, the agent is filmed securing the gun behind his back and apologetically raising his hands before walking away as onlookers stared in horror.
As the incident played out in front of the crowd, screams were heard in the background in the footage that was captured by one witness on their cell phone.
Denver Police Department said in a statement, “It appears an off-duty Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent was dancing at a nightclub when his firearm became dislodged from its waistband holster and fell onto the floor.
“When the agent retrieved his handgun, an unintended discharge occurred, another patron was struck by a bullet in the lower leg."
“The victim was transported to the hospital with a good prognosis."
“The incident is being investigated by the Denver Police Homicide Unit and charges will be determined by the Denver District Attorney’s Office.”
Marika Putnam, a law enforcement spokeswoman, informed that the agent was subsequently taken to a police station and later handed over to a supervisor from the FBI.
Further investigation into the incident is underway, reported the Denver District Attorney's office.
An FBI spokesperson said in a statement that "the investigation is active, ongoing and a personnel matter so we cannot provide comment at this time".
9News reporter Ryan Haarer tweeted, ‘This @FBI agent was dancing at a Denver bar on Saturday night. Did a backflip, gun falls. He picks it up and a round is fired, hitting a man (he’ll be ok.) @DenverPolice investigating. #9News’ He later clarified in a second tweet that the incident was believed to have happened around ‘early Saturday morning. 12.45 am.’
CBS Denver reported that the spokesperson chose not to comment on the firearm protocol for off-duty agents.
A local media outlet informed that investigative authorities are awaiting a blood test result to determine if the agent was under the influence of alcohol during the event.
Twitter was rife with shock and ridicule over the footage with many questioning how someone with specialized training could lose control of his weapon so easily, keeping in mind the extensive training that fresh recruits go through with regards to firearm safety.
According to the FBI's website, the agency's firearms curriculum includes about 5,000 rounds of ammunition.
"FBI agents get 110 hours of instruction and fire their pistols approximately 4000 times during training," wrote a Twitter user who goes by the name "The Warax".
"Now watch this video of an FBI agent accidentally shooting someone while dancing, and then try to tell me ppl who want to arm teachers aren't morons."
Some others criticized the agent's apparently indifferent reaction to the mishap.
"An FBI agent drops his gun while dancing and shoots someone while picking it up," wrote activist Jordan Uhl, adding, "he just shrugs it off and walks away, which is pretty much what all cops do when they shoot someone."
Many also questioned why law enforcement officers are carrying their guns while being off duty.
One wrote, “Let's have a conversation about how many USA federal, state and local law enforcement officers carry their guns at nearly all times when they are not on duty, including when they are drinking alcohol. This is incredibly common.”
Another added, “That wasn't an accident. That was negligence. And, yes he should lose his job. He was likely intoxicated, based on his behavior.
“He was negligent while carrying and then pulled the trigger when his weapon fell out of his holster or pants.”
In the United States, gun violence and police brutality are specifically the subjects of an intense social media debate.