Texas Firearms Instructor Accidentally Shoots His Hand While Teaching Family How To Handle A Gun
A Texas firearms instructor for the Hewitt Police Department is recovering from surgery after accidentally shooting himself in the left hand while teaching family members to handle a gun.
The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that Sgt. Heath Vanek will miss at least two months of work while rehabilitating from surgery to repair a wound he sustained after shooting himself with his personal 9mm pistol.
The self-inflicted, accidental shooting occurred on July 15th on Vanek’s family property.
Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said Vanek, 35, declined comment Friday about his accidental injury.
Devlin added that there will be an internal police investigation into the incident.
The 11-year Hewitt department veteran was teaching his family to shoot a pistol and was teaching them how to clear a semi-automatic pistol’s chamber in case the gun jams.
Vanke shot himself in the hand during the demonstration, Devlin said.
Devlin said Vanke explained that he made a “classic mistake.” “We are human, too. We are not infallible. We make mistakes, and when we mess up, we mess up and do our best to correct it and get back to giving the public the best service we can,” Delvin said.
Devlin said Vanek has been the Hewitt Police Department’s firearms instructor for at least the past five years.
“I do see a potential for some re-teaching and some remediation,” Delvin said. “Accidents occur and when you are dealing with a handgun and other weapons, you need to make sure that all your focus is on that. You can’t give it 80 percent. You have to give it 100 percent.”
Devlin went on to describe Vanek as “one of the best.”
“It’s an unfortunate accident and it is just something we, as a department, will work through,” the chief said.