A Whitehall police officer sustained a noncritical injury after the accidental discharge of his off-duty firearm shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the Whitehall Division of Police, 365 S. Yearling Road.
Officer Tanner Williams was preparing to clean a 9mm pistol when it discharged, striking the officer’s left hand, said Whitehall police detective John Grebb.
It appears Williams was in the process of disassembling the gun when the weapon discharged, Grebb said.
Williams was alone at the range when the weapon discharged, Grebb said.
There is no policy that prohibits an officer being alone at the range, he said.
Police officers practice at the station’s gun range on their own time, Grebb said, and Williams had just finished an overnight shift and was coming off duty at 7 a.m. when he went to the gun range, Grebb said.
“(Williams) spends a lot of at the range,” Grebb said.
Since it was at a shift change, a larger-than-usual number of officers was at the station, Grebb said, but Williams was the only officer at the range when the accident occurred.
“There will be an investigation,” into the incident, he said.
“It’s something that shouldn’t have happened but it was an accident ... Right now, we don’t know all the answers,” Grebb said.
Whitehall medics transported Williams to a hospital for treatment.
Grebb described Williams as “alert and conscious.”
Grebb said he was not aware of any other accidental-discharge incidents in the past at the department’s gun range.
Williams was going into surgery and it was yet unknown the extent of the injury, Grebb said shortly before 11 a.m.
Williams, a 2012 graduate of Gahanna Lincoln High School, became a full-time officer in 2016 for the Whitehall Division of Police.