Officer shoots off finger after clerk hands him loaded gun - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Officer shoots off finger after clerk hands him loaded gun

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Former Glasgow, KY police officer Darrell Smith, 58, was inside Barren Outdoors in Glasgow when he began checking out a handgun the clerk handed him. WAVE photo Former Glasgow, KY police officer Darrell Smith, 58, was inside Barren Outdoors in Glasgow when he began checking out a handgun the clerk handed him. WAVE photo

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A former police officer who shot off his finger inside of an outdoor sporting goods store has filed a lawsuit claiming he was unaware the gun the clerk handed him was loaded.

Former Glasgow police officer Darrell Smith, 58, was inside Barren Outdoors in Glasgow when he began checking out a handgun the clerk handed him.

"This particular weapon caught his eye and he asked to see it," said Smith's Attorney, B. Alan Simpson.

According to Simpson, the gun – a Sig Sauer “Copperhead” .380 caliber handgun - was a trade-in and tagged for sale.

Simpson said of the 30-year officer, "He was just checking the action on the gun and unbeknownst to him, it was loaded."

Simpson said when Smith put his hand over the muzzle and pulled the trigger to release the hammer back down the gun fired, hitting two fingers.

"His left index finger was pretty much shot off," he said.

As for Smith's middle finger, Simpson said it was severely damaged. Surgeons at Kleinert and Kutz Hand Care Center in Louisville operated on the finger that was salvaged, but the former officer has limited range of motion.

Why did Smith pull the trigger?

"It is not unusual for someone to dry fire a gun," Simpson said. "Whether it's good for the gun or not is a another issue, but that's going to happen and that's why a gun store should never, ever hand a loaded weapon to someone."

Smith filed suit Friday claiming he cannot go back to work as an officer and has not gotten any relief since the incident happened on March 26, 2014. Smith is seeking a jury trial, lost income and punitive damages.

"No one in their right minds would hand someone in a gun store a loaded weapon," Simpson said.

A lawsuit is only one side of the story. We tried to get the other side from Barren Outdoors, but the store referred us to a law firm out of New Jersey just hired to handle the matter. An attorney at the firm said he could not comment because they are still looking into the case.

Read more at WAVE's website.


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