MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The police officer, who was accidentally shot at a law enforcement gun range in Coon Rapids, Minn., has been identified.
Officer Chad Schirmers was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment. Police say he suffered non-life threatening injuries. He was conscious when the ambulance arrived and has now been upgraded to serious condition.
Officials say the Lino Lake Police Department was conducting a firearms training at the Anoka County Law Enforcement Range when 26-year-old Schirmers was struck.
The bullet apparently ricocheted and hit him in the hip, between his belt buckle and bulletproof vest.
“I’ve been doing this 23 years and I honestly don’t recall anything like this occurring before,” said Sgt. Tom Hawley of the Coon Rapids Police.
Coon Rapids Police rushed to help on the scene, but couldn’t immediately determine whether the bullet came from Schirmers’ gun or another. Hawley, who trains at the same facility, said it’s a controlled environment, where officers aren’t allowed to shoot unless instructed.
“You can’t fire until the range officer says it’s OK to shoot,” he said.
Hawley said a range officer was present and did instruct the three Lino Lakes officers on Thursday.
It was a close call for Anoka County officers, who understand the danger. They are comforted by the fact that Schirmers was alert and aware of his injury.
Schirmers is a three-year veteran of the Lino Lakes Police Department. There were three other officers at the range at the time of the shooting.
“When I got there, they were just about to load him onto the ambulance, and he was talking to his wife on his cell phone, letting her know what happened,” Hawley said. “I wish him well and hope the best for his family.”
Coon Rapids Police hope to interview Schirmers to learn more once he is well enough.
The Minnesota BCA will help investigate how exactly the accident happened.