A Capitol Police officer was terminated from his position after accidentally firing a gunshot at the Governor’s Mansion in Maple Bluff last Thursday night, according to the Department of Administration.
The shot was fired at about 10:45 p.m., DOA spokesperson Stephanie Marquis said. The governor, first lady and family members were not at the residence, according to Marquis. Officers responded to the shot immediately and no one was injured.
The officer in question had accidentally discharged his weapon, which caused the shot, she said.
“The officer is a new employee and was still serving his initial probationary period,” Marquis said.
The officer was originally suspended with pay and has since been fired, according to Marquis, who added the name of the officer will not be released. She said employees can request that their information be kept confidential.
According to a Maple Bluff Police statement, the bullet penetrated through the window of the security office of the mansion.
“My observation of the bullet hole initially lead me to think that either the bullet was fired within a close proximity to the window, or it was fired from a rifle from the area of the compound’s north gate,” officer Gary Sandridge, who wrote the report, said.
According to Maple Bluff Police Chief Tim Krueger, Maple Bluff Police also responded to the call, securing the perimeter. Krueger said the area inside the gates of the Governor’s Mansion at 99 Cambridge Road is within the Capitol Police’s jurisdiction.
In small communities, Krueger said, police departments help one another when needed, which is referred to as “mutual aid.”
“We don’t police that area, we police outside the gate,” Krueger said. “We helped only to the extent that they needed help with that jurisdiction.”
Krueger said his officer responded when they were called to assist. According to the police report, Sandridge responded to the call. Sandridge said in the report that he arrived in the area and alerted the dispatch to his arrival, then proceeded to check the perimeter for any suspicious activity and saw none.
Krueger said the Maple Bluff Police did as they were asked, providing assistance when needed and staying within their jurisdiction.
Marquis also noted that the incident was very much under control so Maple Bluff Police only needed to secure the perimeter.
“Everyone understood there wasn’t a serious threat,” Marquis said. “There wasn’t a need to say ‘everyone can leave now.’”