A northern California teacher accidentally discharged a firearm in a classroom during a gun safety class on Tuesday, police said.
The teacher, who police identified as Dennis Alexander, was teaching a administration of justice class at Seaside High School when he fired a semi-automatic handgun. The bullet ricocheted off the ceiling, and fragments from the bullet lodged itself into the neck of a 17-year-old boy.
According to the student’s father, Fermin Gonzales, Alexander had just told the class that he wanted to verify that the gun was not loaded, KSBW reports. The student was not seriously injured, but the event did leave an impression on him.
“He’s shaken up, but he’s going to be okay,” Gonzales told KSBW. “I’m just pretty upset that no one told us anything and we had to call the police ourselves to report it.”
Gonzales said he understands that the event was an accident but said that “somebody could have died.”
“It’s just so crazy. I can’t believe it,” Gonzales said. “If there’s an accident, people could die. If it’s just one, that’s more than enough.”
Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante said that Alexander, who is a Seaside City Council member, has been a reserve officer for the past 11 years. While Ferrante described Alexander’s track record as “positive and professional,” Ferrente stated that the police will be looking into why Alexander was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom.
“I have concerns about why he was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom,” Ferrente said. “We will be looking into that.”
Seaside police are still investigating.
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