August 3, 2014 1:00 pm -

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.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

16 responses to Texas Firearms Instructor Accidentally Shoots His Hand While Teaching Family How To Handle A Gun

  1. William August 3rd, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Oh how I love the classics…or…paper target one, idiot zero.

    • John David Peer August 3rd, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Isn’t this fun??

      I’ve have a friend who’s a paramedic: I’ll ask if he can get us some videos of car wrecks after people are careless with their driving – you guy’s’ll have a laugh!

      Today’s “new” liberal: not as smart or as compassionate, but wayyyy funnier!

      • William August 4th, 2014 at 7:48 am

        Spare me your feigned indignation. Car crashes have nothing to do with the antics of Quick draw Mcdoofus.
        I don’t know about Canada, but I can assure you that as a first responder I never shared photographic evidence of car crashes.
        Try again when you have something more lucid.

  2. mea_mark August 3rd, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I gotta say, out of all the peaceful (not war related) things you do with a gun, getting a stuck live round out is the scariest. You don’t want 100% attention, you want 110% attention. I hate it, I put off doing it once for months.

    • William August 3rd, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      ,” getting a stuck live round out is the scariest”.


      I’m reasonably certain this poor officers training is likely different than mine, but I am still confused.

      Almost universally the “Tap-rack-bang” method is used to clear a malfunction. The method is simple and facilitates the action without taking your view from the target. An alternate method rotates the weapon upside down to drop (clear) a smokestacked casing from the weapon. Gravity is better than the torn flesh that sometimes resulted from the old “wipe” method.

      I hope this guy recovers, and I hope the internal investigation lends itself to better methods to preclude this from happening again.

    • Pistol-Packing August 3rd, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      Agreed, 1000%…. I was shooting reloads one day. And had a out of shape cartridge that lodged itself into the barrel, but did not fire. But it was lodged firmly enough, that the extractors would not eject the round. SCARED the hell out of me trying to manipulate it out of the chamber.

      • Anomaly 100 August 3rd, 2014 at 6:49 pm

        And you should be scared. That keeps you focused because we know that a gun misfiring can be lethal.

        • mea_mark August 3rd, 2014 at 8:03 pm

          What’s scary is trying to get out a stuck live round from the chamber. It has to be worked out with a knife very carefully and you hope it doesn’t go off why you do it. That isn’t really a misfire. It is more like a bullet blowing up in your face.

          • Anomaly 100 August 3rd, 2014 at 9:28 pm

            I think I’d bring it to someone else to do it.

  3. mea_mark August 3rd, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I gotta say, out of all the peaceful (not war related) things you do with a gun, getting a stuck live round out is the scariest. You don’t want 100% attention, you want 110% attention. I hate it, I put off doing it once for months.

  4. Frank Wahl August 3rd, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I was working out in the yard today and scratched my finger. When will you write an article about this?

    • William August 3rd, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Good question.
      Because scratching yourself is just like shooting yourself, isn’t it?
      How about it moderators?

      • mea_mark August 3rd, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        Well, if he was weeding with a shotgun, blowing them away, it might make an interesting story.

    • Anomaly 100 August 3rd, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      When it’s newsworthy.

  5. Herb Sarge Phelps August 3rd, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Ok I know we are probably going to hear some gun nut say this is just a rare example and most gun owners (funny how it is owners and not gun shooters) are careful and safe. Of course that is an attempt to ignore that it happens enough that even in the hands of an expert guns can be mishandled and cause injury or death to the point some means of preventing it from being an epidemic of errors. Just look at all the incidents, the Marine who shot her neighbor, children getting shot while playing with their parents weapon not secured, being shot while sitting on the front porch, and on and on.
    Add to this accidental shootings the intentional ones like gang warfare, arguments being settle at the shooting of a gun, or just scaring people because someone thinks they have to show off their guns to everyone regardless of if the others want to see it or not.
    A gun is a tool not an object worthy of worship but too many of the gun nuts seem to think it is a holy object of worship and can’t understand why the rest of us don’t bow at the alter of the gun.

  6. tiredoftea August 3rd, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    He did shoot his left hand, so, you know, when a bad hand on a guy with a gun…etc., etc., etc.