S.F. Examiner file photo

SF sheriff’s deputy accidentally fires weapon in Hall of Justice

A bailiff accidentally discharged an off-duty weapon behind a courtroom in the Hall of Justice early Wednesday, prompting an investigation into the incident by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.

No one was injured when the weapon went off around 7:10 a.m. inside a bailiff’s office on the third floor of criminal courthouse, according to Eileen Hirst, chief of staff for Sheriff Vicki Hennessy. The office is in the secure perimeter of the building.

One deputy was showing another deputy an off-duty weapon when the gun was accidentally fired. No one was injured, but the bullet went through a file cabinet and into a concrete wall, Hirst said.

“It’s a very serious matter and we are taking it very seriously,” Hirst said.

The two bailiffs involved are still on duty in their normal positions but have been ordered to take a refresher course on firearms safety, Hirst said. Hennessy plans to issue a department-wide bulletin reminding staff of the basic principles of firearm training.

Bailiffs at the Hall of Justice do not carry firearms while on duty, Hirst said. However, they are allowed to bring the weapon to work if the firearm is on a list of approved weapons.

Hirst added, “It would not be unusual for someone to have an off duty weapon that they carry to and from work and then lock securely while they’re on duty.”

A weapons discharge review board will look into the incident and “at the end of the investigation, if corrective action is warranted it will be taken,” Hirst said.

Sheriff’s deputies will also now be reminded while they muster for about 15 minutes every morning on the specifics of how to be safe with firearms, Hirst said.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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