Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Cop Killed by Own Gun?

Radyo Bombo Koronadal reported that on July 6, 2014, SPO1 Alex Bernal of Tampakan Police Station in South Cotabato was killed by his own shotgun when he slipped.

Here is the full report cut and paste from the FB account of Radyo Bombo.

KORONADAL CITY- Hinihintay na lamang ng Tampakan PNP ang magiging resulta ng post-mortem exam makaraang aksidenteng nabaril ng isang police officer ang kanyang sarili habang on-duty na naging dahilan ng kanyang kamatayan.

Kinilala ni Police Senior Insp. Jerwin Maglana ang biktima na si SPO1 Alex Bernal, ang operations PNCO ng Tampakan PNP, at nasa 46 anyos.

Ayon sa salaysay ni Maglana, naganap ang aksidente bandang alas 5:30 kahapon nang nagpapahinga si Bernal habang nasa tabi nito ang kanyang issued firearm na 12 gauge shotgun nang nadulas ito at aksidenteng nabaril ang kanyang tiyan.

Kaagad siyang isinugod ng kanyang mga kasamahan sa isang pribadong ospital ngunit idineklara na itong dead on arrival alas 6:15 kagabi.

Batay sa initial findings, isang putok lamang ang narinig, ngunit hinihintay pa nila ang resulta ng autopsy na isinagwa ni Dr. Washington Loreno.

Napag-alaman na 18 taon ng nasa serbisyo bilang pulis si Bernal.

My curiosity was piqued by this report for several reasons.  Aside from the fact that an investigation on the real details of the incident is necessary, it is also of equal importance that an examination of the trustworthiness of the equipment and the procedures in its use should at least be revisited and reviewed.

I am a fan of the shotgun as a police weapon.  In urban settings, I believe that it is even better than the M-16 rifle.  However, on an untrained hand, the shotgun is a very dangerous weapon.  While all modern shotguns feature mechanical locks and safety, the general unfamiliarity of an ordinary police officer on the weapon further amplify these dangers.  Of course, it is unpardonable for the manufacturer to have a shotgun going off if it is dropped.  A shotgun—and all weapons for that matter—should never fire because of impact or any other force aside from the actual squeezing of the trigger.  This is the reason why the “drop test” is included in the testing done by the DRD.

These are but a few of the reasons why an investigation on this case should be conducted.

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