MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A bullet accidentally fired from a police sergeant’s gun at his work desk was shot through the wall of his office, into the kitchen, through the refrigerator, into the Communications area, through another wall, ricocheting off a flat screen TV, and finally coming to a stop in a hallway garbage can.
FIU Police Sgt. Alberto Alfonso was transferring several of his personal guns from holsters to hard cases at his desk when his gun went off last August.
FIU Police policy requires clearing guns, using a specified “clearing barrel” that is located in the police station on FIU’s main campus.
After Sgt. Alfonso fired that shot inside the police station according to the incident report, his assistant chief responded and picked up the gun, asking him whether it was clear and safe, Sgt. Alfonso said yes, but when the Assistant Chief checked, he found another live round in the chamber.
“Anytime I’ve handled a gun, you know there’s a round in the chamber. That’s gun etiquette 101,” FIU student Stephanie Castro told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
The students we spoke with were surprised by the shooting.
“That’s ridiculous. You’ve got to like really know what you’re doing,” said Angel Naves.
Sgt. Alfonso was given a written reprimand which reads in part, “Your failure to use due care is compounded by the fact that you are a FIUPD firearms instructor and a FIUPD field training supervisor.”
Sgt. Alfonso would not do an interview, but told Zea by phone simply, “”I made a mistake, I paid the price for it.”
This is the third incident CBS4 News has uncovered involving FIU officers improperly using their guns.
In late October, during shooting practice at the Miami Dade Public Safety Training Institute Officer Joe Mesa fired shots into the air while on the line and surrounded by other officers…he was fired for it.
Half an hour after Mesa’s outburst, Officer Sonia Meneses accidentally shot her gun into Officer Mesa’s backpack.
Meneses was suspended without pay for one day.
Students we spoke with say these three incidents show more training is necessary.
“ I think they should be having firearms training so they know how to work a gun,” said Naves.
But according to an FIU source…firearms training has been suspended for the last four months following the gun range shootings…and no gun trainings are scheduled at this point.
FIU’s Police Chief and Press Office would not comment.