Erlanger Hospital Security Officer Arrested for Accidentally Shooting Fellow Officer
Police say the hospital security officers often “joke around,” and sometimes that involves pointing their guns at each other.
Chattanooga, Tennessee – A Walden Security officer working at Erlanger Hospital was arrested Friday night after he accidentally shot one of his co-workers.
According to authorities, Jayce Jenkins, 24, was “joking around” with Ryan Howard at about 7 p.m. when Jenkins stood up and pointed his gun toward Howard’s leg, reports NewsChannel9. Police say the pair often “joke around” with each other, and sometimes that involves pointing their guns at each other, reports MyMix1041.
Howard, who doesn’t believe the shooting was intentional, said Jenkins normally releases the magazine before pointing his gun. He doesn’t believe Jenkins knew there was a bullet in the chamber before pulling the trigger. Howard was shot in the left groin area.
Jenkins told police the shooting wasn’t intentional, and he acknowledged his negligence to the detectives who interviewed him. Security camera footage of the incident shows Howard playfully kicking Jenkins before Jenkins pointed his gun at Howard. The gun then went off, reports the Chattanoogan.
After the shooting, both security officers went to Erlanger’s emergency room where Howard’s injuries were treated.
Jenkins is facing reckless endangerment charges.
Campus security experts say negligent discharges are a significant risk if guns are allowed on campus, especially when non-sworn personnel and the general public are allowed to carry firearms.
Just last month a Texas school superintendent submitted his resignation a few days after parents and law enforcement first learned that he left his gun in a bathroom that was discovered by a third grader. The superintendent said he removed his weapon from his person when he was using the restroom and placed it in a stall. He and the school principal open carry on campus.
In March 2020, a security officer employed by Sagemont School in Weston, Florida, was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to campus, which went off as he was showing the firearm to the school’s maintenance worker in the campus parking lot. When the gun discharged, the co-worker was shot in the eye.
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