- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

ROCKWOOD, Tenn. (AP) - An East Tennessee police chief says an officer accidentally fired a live round from his weapon during a drill at a middle school.

Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright told WBIR-TV (https://on.wbir.com/2aSdMjD ) that the discharge shouldn’t have happened Thursday morning at Rockwood Middle School. Wright added that no one was in danger.

No one was injured, and no students were in the building because Thursday was an in-service day for teachers. The doors to the school were locked so no one mistakenly came inside.

Police and the school system were working together on a drill to demonstrate what an active shooter situation sounds like. In the drill, school employees are locked in a classroom with the police chief while an officer fires blank rounds in the hallway.

“It was a blank-fire drill, is what it was,” Roane County Schools Superintendent Leah Watkins said. “There was not to be any discharge of live ammunition.”

Watkins said no one was in the proximity of the weapon when it fired. The bullet damaged a “minor little piece” of a cinder block on the wall, “but it’s really not anything that would be noticeable,” she said.

Rockwood police successfully conducted the same drill at Rockwood High School on Monday. Another drill planned later Thursday for Ridge View Elementary School was canceled.

“We just felt it was in the best interest to discontinue that simulation,” Watkins said.

The officer who fired the weapon is on paid administrative leave, standard procedure while the incident is investigated.

The incident happened two days after a Florida police officer shot and killed a woman during a Citizens Academy role-play scenario. The Florida officer’s revolver was supposed to contain blanks.


Information from: WBIR-TV, https://www.wbir.com/

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