Police investigating officer’s accidental discharge

NAUGATUCK — A Naugatuck police officer discharged a shotgun and sent a bullet through the roof of a police cruiser and the top of a sally port over the weekend.

The incident occurred about 11 a.m. Saturday at the Naugatuck Police Department headquarters on Spring Street.

Nobody was injured.

Officers who are in charge of cleaning and maintaining the department’s cache of firearms were taking shotguns and other long guns out of vehicles to work on them, said police Lt. Bryan Cammarata, the department’s spokesman.

The shotgun that was discharged was located on a gun rack inside a newer police vehicle, he said.

Cammarata said the shotguns are normally left in a state called “cruiser ready.” Rounds are in the tube, but none are “chambered.” They must be jacked into the chamber upon removing the gun for use.

If the round is not used, the round is to be removed from the chamber and placed back into the tube before placing the gun back into the vehicle in the cruiser ready state, he said. The department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the incident to determine how the shotgun went off, he said.

“Our records show that this was an accidental discharge of a shotgun which occurred during scheduled maintenance of the weapon,” Cammarata wrote in response to a Freedom of Information Act request for information regarding the incident that the Republican-American filed with the department Monday.

“The incident is still an open investigation and as such the report cannot be released at this time,” he wrote, adding that the department will be able to release the report once it has been closed.

Cammarata said that because of the ongoing investigation, the department cannot release many details of the incident, including the name of the officer involved.

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