Red faces as gun debut goes off half-cocked
By JIMMY LEUNG
POLICE chalked up their first ''hit'' with new high-powered regulation revolvers yesterday - one of their own patrol vans.
The .38 Smith & Wesson revolvers, equipped with heavier barrels to cope with soon-to-be-issued semi-jacketed hollow point bullets, are part of a $31.9 million equipment review provoked by a spate of armed robberies last year.
But during one of the guns' first local demonstrations, about 20 serving officers dived for cover as a firearms instructor accidentally pulled the trigger - and shot the van.
The instructor, a Marine Police sergeant, froze on the spot as the bullet tore into the front of the van, parked near the Smuggler's Ridge firing range near Kam Shan Country Park in Cheung Sha Wan.
The deputy director of force training, Assistant Commissioner Mr Peter Webb, said the incident would not affect the planned April 1 introduction of the new equipment.
''It's a pure accident and fortunately no one was hurt. I do not want to comment at this stage as it is being investigated,'' he said.
But last night the ''victims'' of the incident were being treated for a punctured radiator and a deflated ego respectively.
Police staff officer (weapon training), Superintendent Bruce Bill, is investigating. The incident is believed to be the first since training with the guns started earlier this month.