How was a Minnesota third grader able to fire a police officer's loaded gun?

The incident caused alarm at the Harmony Learning Center on Monday.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

What's happened?

The gun belonging to a school liaison police officer went off at the Harmony Learning Center in Maplewood on Monday, Maplewood police said in a press release.

The person responsible for firing the gun? A third grade student.

Wait, what?

Yes, the alarming incident happened at 1:44 p.m., when the officer was in the gym with third and fourth graders "interacting with them and building relationships," police say.

While talking with students while siting on a bench, a third grader sitting next to him reached over and placed his finger on the officer's gun holster.

He then managed to press the trigger, causing the gun to go off through the bottom of his holster.

The bullet hit the floor and fortunately nobody was injured.

Harmony Learning Center serves special education students in grades K-12.

So how did this happen?

As the police explain, the holster was a "department-approved level 3 security holster, with trigger guard."

Typically, guns can't be touched or fired within these holsters, "but the child's small finger was able to reach inside."

"The Maplewood Police Department is reviewing the circumstances around this incident and the style of holster the officer was wearing to prevent future instances," it said.

The only School Resource Officer (SRO) listed as active in Maplewood is Lonn Bakke, who the Star Tribune confirmed was the officer involved.

You can find more explanation of how Level 3 security holsters work here, courtesy of Police One.

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.

PennyMomentos

How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.

Drywall

Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.

ambulance

4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.

20201107_vivir-1151-Edit

Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.

MasklessJudgesinWiscoyTownship

At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said

Related

Rochester third-grader threatens fellow student with fake gun

Rochester school officials disciplined an 8-year-old student after the boy brought a pop gun to school. A district spokesperson says the third grader pointed it at another student in a threatening manner. The incident happened Friday. Parents were notified in writing Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Court: Richfield Police right to fire officer for slapping teen

The officer's actions were caught on video and shared on social media.

Boy killed in Plymouth found loaded gun, shot himself in head

The boy's mother had no idea there was a gun in their house.

1 dead in officer-involved shooting in Virginia, Minnesota

The suspect was shot and killed on Tuesday evening.

Student brings loaded handgun to St. Paul school

The gun was confiscated and the student arrested.