Probe after police shotgun goes off

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 March, 2012, 12:00am


Two policemen are being investigated after a shotgun was accidentally discharged at the New Territories South regional police headquarters in Tsuen Wan.

A constable was unloading the Remington pump-action weapon when it went off on Tuesday night.

'One shot was fired, damaging a wooden partition and the sling of another Remington,' a police officer said. 'The constable was unhurt.'

Police were investigating whether the officer accidentally pressed the trigger or whether the shotgun malfunctioned. The incident happened in the armoury at the Emergency Unit operations base in Shing Mun Road. The shotgun has been taken to the Forensic Firearms Examination Bureau to be inspected.

Shotguns are loaded when officers take them on duty. Beat policemen are responsible for unloading them before returning the weapons and ammunition to an armoury. Officers at the armoury must ensure a gun is unloaded before accepting it.

The Remington was returned to the armoury by a sergeant after he finished his shift on Tuesday night.

A police investigator said: 'We are also looking into whether the sergeant was negligent in returning the loaded shotgun, and whether the constable [in the armoury] followed proper procedures in accepting the firearm.'

It was too early to say whether disciplinary action would be taken against the two policemen, and neither had been suspended from duty, a police spokeswoman said. Officers from the New Territories South Operations Wing are investigating.

On January 12, an off-duty detective escaped injury when his pistol accidentally discharged at his home in Ma On Shan. Chief Inspector Vasco Williams of the marine police regional crime unit was believed to have pressed the trigger while unloading the Sig Sauer semi-automatic handgun.

Last April a policeman accidently shot himself in the thigh during training at police headquarters in Wan Chai. He apparently pressed the trigger when drawing the gun from its holster at a shooting range.