School Security Officer Gun Discharges, Strikes Co-Worker

The maintenance worker was shot in the eye when the gun went off.
Published: March 10, 2020

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.

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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.

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