A reserve police officer and teacher at Seaside High School in California accidentally discharged a gun inside his classroom Tuesday during a gun safety course. One student sustained superficial injuries when the bullet struck the ceiling and either debris or bullet fragments became lodged in his neck.
The teacher was identified as Dennis Alexander, a reserve police officer for the Sand City Police Department and a Seaside councilman. Alexander was teaching a gun safety course as part of his administration of justice class when he fired a single shot from a semi-automatic handgun into the ceiling, the Monterey County Herald and KSBW reported.
Police said no one was seriously injured, KSBW said. One student, a 17-year-old boy, was hit in the neck by debris or a fragment after the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling, said Seaside police Chief Abdul D. Pridgen. The boy was not seriously injured and classes resumed, the Herald reported.
Alexander has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place.
Sand City police Chief Brian Ferrante told KSBW, “I have concerns about why he (Alexander) was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom. We will be looking into that.”
Ferrante said Alexander has been a reserve Sand City police officer for the past 11 years, and described his track record as “positive and professional,” according to KSBW. He was named reserve officer of the year in 2013.