CLINTON, Ind. – An Indiana high school student was injured when a sheriff’s deputy’s gun accidentally discharged in a classroom during training.
Indiana State Police said in a news release that it was investigating the accidental shooting at South Vermillion High School. Vermillion County Deputy Tim DisPennett, identified as a 19-year veteran of the department, was teaching a law enforcement class at South Vermillion High School based on different scenarios. State police said that during the course of the instruction, DisPennett “accidentally discharged his service weapon striking a student in the classroom.”
The class was geared at teaching students how to be police officers, and participants in the drill were doing a scenario with a “bad guy,” WTHI reported. There were between eight and 10 students in the class.
In a statement on social media, South Vermillion Community School Corporation said the deputy was going over drills with the students when he drew his service weapon instead of his training weapon and fired it. The student’s injuries were described as not life-threatening.
“They use dummy guns, plastic guns, in this situation. It was a mistake that was made on behalf of the sheriff deputy,” Superintendent of South Vermillion Schools, Dave Chapman, told WCCU. “(it’s an) unfortunate incident, but they’ve gone through this training quite frequently, so it was just one of those unfortunate incidents.”
“When I got on the scene, (the victim) was on the stretcher with the EMTs, kind of cutting up a little bit,” Chapman told WTWO. “When he asked how his pain level was, he said it felt like a sting. So it was a graze, a superficial wound, and he was going to be transported to the hospital in Terre Haute to have it looked at.”
State police said in the news release that DisPennett has been placed on administrative leave and that detectives are continuing to investigate what happened.
One the investigation is complete, all findings will be turned over to the Vermillion County Prosecutor’s office for review, The Associated Press reported.
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