MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — A third-grader grabbed and fired a police officer’s service weapon Monday while the officer was visiting an east metro elementary school.

No one was hurt in the incident, which happened in the the gym at the Harmony Learning Center, a school for special needs children in Maplewood.

School District 622 sent home a notice to parents saying that a police liaison officer was visiting a physical education class and while sitting on a bench a “curious student” stuck his finger into the police officer’s holster and accidentally fired his gun into the gym floor.

The school’s superintendent declined to comment on camera but said she was grateful no one was hurt.

The initial statement from the Maplewood police said the child’s small finger was able to reach inside a level 3 security holster.

Maplewood police say the officer involved, Lonn Bakke, is a 21-year veteran with no other complaints against him.

Superintendent Christine Osorio said she is thankful that officers from the Maplewood Police Department visited the child’s home Monday night to assure him and his family the child was not at fault.

Maplewood police say Bakke remains on duty as the investigation continues.

Maplewood police say the officer’s Glock 22 double action handgun does not have a safety.

Local gun experts tell WCCO the level 3 holster the gun was in should have prevented any kind of accidental discharge.

Maplewood police say the investigation into the incident remains on-going.

Comments (3)
  1. Greg Laden says:

    The amazing think about this reporting is that the expert advice is taken at face value without questioning it.

    The fact is that a Glock pistol does not have a safety. It has a different mechanism designed to replace the safety. That mechanism also allows a child to grab the gun and fire it. I have no idea how many serious outcomes have occurred because of this design, and it is lucky that no one was hurt in this case.

    But the fact is, this gun performed as expected. I will be asking our local school to disallow police officers access to the school unless they have a gun with an actual safety.

  2. Sam Williams says:

    A third grader should know better than to stick his/her finger in an officer’s holster, gun trigger, etc.

    I consider it overkill to go to the student’s home to reassure them they did nothing wrong. Contrary, I think the student did do something wrong, but I’m willing to give the student a pass if the child was special needs developmentally.

    1. A special needs student may NOT know, depending on his cognitive abilities. I’m sure s/he was scared to death.

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