Firearms Instructor Teaches Students to Unload Guns Used for Firearms Instruction

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Accounts differed of the incident on May 3 in which Dave Hansen, police chief of Riverdale, Utah, managed to shoot himself while teaching a gun-safety class. Two of Hansen’s students, Bart Ulm and Lewis Walker, claimed they had been concerned at the time that Chief Hansen was being careless, partly because they say they noticed there was live ammo in the gun Hansen was using for demonstration purposes.

“I was very leery,” said Ulm, “because there’s no need to have live ammo in a gun in the class. But I figured he’s the chief, so he must know what he’s doing.”  And he did, if what he was doing was trying to shoot himself in the ankle.  The pistol went off while Hansen was preparing to disassemble it.

“I’m hit!” Hansen cried, and fell over.  The students, according to the AP report, then began to shout “Officer down!” as they had presumably seen on TV.  Eventually someone thought to call 911, which is less dramatic but more helpful.  Hansen was treated and released two days later.

Another officer told the local newspaper that an internal investigation into the matter was proceeding.  He disputed the accounts given by Ulm and Walker, who he described as “disgruntled.”  It was not clear how their disgruntlement would explain the bullet in Hansen’s ankle, however.

This is not as good as the last gun-safety-instructor-shoots-self-in-foot story I came across, because that shooter started off by bragging about his professionalism, the incident was videotaped, and he later sued his employer (the DEA) for allegedly leaking the video to the Internet.  But you can’t ask for facts like that every time.