School Security Officer Gun Discharges, Strikes Co-Worker

The maintenance worker was shot in the eye when the gun went off.

School Security Officer Gun Discharges, Strikes Co-Worker

A security officer employed by Sagemont School in Weston, Florida, was arrested March 6 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.

Julian Suarez, 55, the K-12 security officer who is an employee of Kent Security, then drove the victim to the Cleveland Clinic and drove himself home, reports NBC Miami.

After the clinic notified the Broward County Sherriff’s office about the incident, Suarez was arrested by deputies for possession of a firearm on school property.

He was not authorized to carry the weapon at Sagemount School, reports Local10. However, according to Suarez’ public defender, he was allowed to carry the firearm during his night shift at another school where he was going to work later that same day.

Related Article: Negligent Discharges: A Real Risk If We Allow Guns on Campus

The defendant’s attorney says the incident was a “stupid mistake.”

The current condition of the victim is unknown. Suarez’ bond was set at $7,500.

In December, the Associated Press released research, which found that since 2012, there have been 22 unintentional shootings by officers, teachers and students on school and college campuses.

The incidents included negligent discharges while officers chased or arrested suspects, taught gun safety classes, or attended campus events while off-duty, among other instances. Of the 22 campus shootings, six involved officers responding to reports of active shooters. The data includes a wide range of circumstances involving both officers and teachers.

According to federal data,  in Florida, the number of people injured in negligent discharge incidents increased by 82% between 2007 and 2017. There were 857 injuries in 2017 compared to 471 in 2007.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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