Students injured when Monterey County teacher accidentally fires handgun in class
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SEASIDE â" A teacher injured three students Tuesday when he accidentally fired a gun inside a Seaside High School classroom, according to reports.
The teacher was identified as Dennis Alexander, a reserve police officer for the Sand City Police Department and a Seaside councilman. Alexander was teaching a gun safety course as part of his administration of justice class when he fired a single shot from a semi-automatic handgun into the ceiling, the Monterey County Herald and KSBW reported.
One 17-year-old student was hit in the neck by debris or a fragment after the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling, said Seaside police Chief Abdul D. Pridgen. The student was not seriously injured and classes resumed.
The shooting occurs amid intense debate o ver whether to arm teachers in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. shooting that left 17 dead and another 17 injured. On Wednesday, students across the country are set to walk out of their classrooms to raise awareness about gun violence and safety.
Alexander has taught the course before, but Pridgen said he did not know if he had ever brought a loaded firearm to the school, the Herald reported. An investigation is underway.
âWeâre looking into any violation of city ordinance or the penal code and weâll determine whether or not there are any applicable charges,â Pridgen told the Herald.
According to KSBW, the father of the 17-year-old student who was injured said Alexander had just told the class he wanted to make sure the firearm was not loaded when it went off. He was planning to use the gun for a demonstration for how to disarm someone.
âItâs the craziest thing. It could have been very bad,â Gonzales said.
Sand City police Chief B rian Ferrante told KSBW, âI have concerns about why he (Alexander) was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom. We will be looking into that.â
Ferrante said Alexander has been a reserve Sand City police officer for the past 11 years, and described his track record as âpositive and professional,â according to KSBW. He was named reserve officer of the year in 2013.
In an email to parents, the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District said, âUpon learning of the incident, our Human Resources department, school site administration and the Seaside Police Department immediately began investigating the incident, including interviewing students in the class.â
The letter also stated that the district is unable to share any other details other than Alexander has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the on-going investigation.Source: Google News