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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 4/7/2006 12:15:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 1:22:28 PM EDT by Maddogkiller]
April 6, 2006
By Shane Benjamin | Herald Staff Writer

The Durango police officer who accidentally shot a fellow officer in the knee two weeks ago did so while cleaning his pistol, according to a news release issued Wednesday by District Attorney Craig Westberg.

Officer Jeff Tipton pointed the gun down at a table and depressed the trigger, believing the weapon was empty, the release said. Although the clip was removed, there was a bullet in the chamber. The gun discharged, sending the bullet through an aerosol can on the table and through the table top, where it struck a metal leg and ricocheted into Officer Pete Malberg's right knee, according to the news release.

"Obviously startled, but not yet realizing that he had been shot, officer Malberg slid his chair back, attempted to stand, and fell back into his chair, where he was immediately attended by fellow officers," Westberg wrote.

Malberg, a 10-year veteran of the Durango Police Department, was released last week from Mercy Medical Center and has been recovering at home. Tipton, a three-year veteran, has been assigned to office duty since the accident, but he is expected to return to regular duty today, Capt. Dale Smith said.

In his news release, Westberg writes that Malberg believes the shooting was an "unfortunate accident."

"He has known officer Tipton for the three years he has been on the force," Westberg said, "and knows Tipton to be a safety-conscious, meticulous and capable gun handler.

"Officer Tipton himself is understandably mortified by what has happened and that this accident resulted in injuries to a friend and fellow officer," Westberg wrote.
Durango ColoradoReal Estate

The incident occurred about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 23, at a police shooting range behind the La Plata County Jail. Officers were doing routine firearms training. The weapon involved was a .40 caliber Glock. Because the shooting involved an officer, the 6th Judicial District Critical Incident Team conducted the investigation.

The team is made up of members from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Durango Police Department, La Plata County Sheriff's Office and an investigator for the District Attorney's Office.

"After having spoken extensively with the members of this team and reading the reports which were generated," Westberg wrote, "I conclude that there was no evidence of criminal negligence on the part of officer Jeff Tipton."

Officer Malberg is quoted in the news release as saying he has reviewed articles on unintended discharges by police officers, both on and off the range, and was surprised at how many accidental shootings occur across the country.

"In short," Malberg is quoted as saying, "firing ranges are dangerous places where there are many people carrying loaded weapons in close proximity. This is one of the hazards which police officers cannot avoid.

"When an incident such as this occurs, among experienced, disciplined and safety-conscious people, it is a reminder to us all that great care needs to be exercised when handling and in the vicinity of firearms."

durangoherald.com/asp-bin/article_generation.asp?article_type=news&article_path=/news/06/news060406_8.htm
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:19:20 PM EDT
I don't care WHAT you kool-aid drinkers think. A pistol whose disassembly requires you to pull the trigger is ASKING for trouble.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:25:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
I don't care WHAT you kool-aid drinkers think. A pistol whose disassembly requires you to pull the trigger is ASKING for trouble.



Anyone who doesn't check the firearm to make sure it is unloaded before they take it apart is asking for trouble.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:26:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
I don't care WHAT you kool-aid drinkers think. A pistol whose disassembly requires you to pull the trigger is ASKING for trouble.







Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:26:24 PM EDT
Cycle slide, do visual check
Cycle slide, do visual check
Lock slide do physical check

Wonder how many steps got skipped
Glad to hear the Officer is doing ok
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:26:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
I don't care WHAT you kool-aid drinkers think. A pistol whose disassembly requires you to pull the trigger is ASKING for trouble.



Anyone who doesn't check the firearm to make sure it is unloaded before they take it apart is asking for trouble.



Word.

Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:30:28 PM EDT
Who cleans Glocks? Just shoot them til they ka-boom then buy another one.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:37:26 PM EDT
in before the glock four-teee & the professionals who use them.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 12:45:17 PM EDT
This is why I rack the slide umteen million times before I pull the trigger to remove it. I also don't clean it in my living room while my wife and kid are walking around. Basement only for gun cleaning.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:20:49 PM EDT
1. Officer should be fired for the ND.

2. Range should rearranged the cleaning area to include weapon clearing brls. Additionally the cleaning stations should all be facing the same way so nobody is sitting/standing across from another.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:24:30 PM EDT
soooooooooo, a cop can shoot another cop and get off for the shooting scott free?
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:26:25 PM EDT
If most cops spent as much time learning how to actually use the tools of the trade as they spend combing their hair and looking at themselves in the rearview mirror, shit like this would not happen.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:27:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
This is why I rack the slide umteen million times before I pull the trigger to remove it. I also don't clean it in my living room while my wife and kid are walking around. Basement only for gun cleaning.



+1

And I have huge block of wood I aim at for the trigger squeeze.

Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:34:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
This is why I rack the slide umteen million times before I pull the trigger to remove it. I also don't clean it in my living room while my wife and kid are walking around. Basement only for gun cleaning.



+1

And I have huge block of wood I aim at for the trigger squeeze.




The two loudest sounds in the world:

A click when you expect a bang, and a bang when you expect a click.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:39:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
This is why I rack the slide umteen million times before I pull the trigger to remove it. I also don't clean it in my living room while my wife and kid are walking around. Basement only for gun cleaning.



+1

And I have huge block of wood I aim at for the trigger squeeze.




The two loudest sounds in the world:

A click when you expect a bang, and a bang when you expect a click.



So very true.

More OP's words of wisdom.
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