L.A. County sheriff's deputy accidentally discharged weapon in a courtroom

KNX 1070 News

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy accidentally fired his weapon inside a San Fernando Valley courtroom last month, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The incident resulted in "potential" injury to colleagues and prompted an internal investigation, according to officials.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department confirmed Monday that the accidental shooting indeed took place at a Van Nuys courthouse on Aug. 16. A department spokesperson described the incident as an "unintentional discharge" and declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.

According to The Times, the gun went off as the deputy, a court bailiff, was putting the firearm away. The courtroom where the discharge occurred was reportedly filled with several attorneys and their clients waiting to have cases heard by the presiding judge, Shellie Samuels.

According to the judicial transparency organization Court Watch Los Angeles, there were "many people in the courtroom" when the discharge occurred, and a bullet "ricocheted off a wall and hit another [sheriff's] deputy, striking the radio on his hip."

Court Watch L.A. has criticized handling of the incident, accusing both court officials and the sheriff's department of orchestrating a coverup.

"If this were a civilian who accidentally discharged his weapon, he'd be facing criminal charges," the organization tweeted on Saturday.

The LASD has declined to comment on whether any actual injuries resulted from the incident.

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