Police Cadet Killed in Training Accident
AUGUSTA, Mich. (AP) _ A police cadet was killed by a training officer with a gun the trainer loaded with live ammunition and forgot to remove before a mock apartment raid, police said today.
Officer Gary Stevens, a 14-year veteran of the Fort Wayne police, fired the .38-caliber revolver that killed cadet Omega Graham Jr., 25, of Fort Wayne, Ind., police Capt. Rusty York said.
Stevens was using an unloaded gun Thursday but left the training site to refuel a vehicle, York said.
Because he was going in an unmarked car, Stevens loaded his gun with live ammunition but forgot to empty it when he returned to the simulation, York said.
Stevens has been granted a leave of absence, and the Fort Wayne department is conducting an internal investigation, York said.
Graham, who was set to graduate from the Fort Wayne Police Academy on Dec. 30, was pronounced dead at 5:30 p.m. at Leila Hospital and Health Center in Battle Creek about one hour after the accident, said Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Deputy Rusty Shelburne.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office ruled the case accidental, Shelburne said.
Graham was involved in a simulated trouble call in which Stevens was playing the role of an irate tenant, Shelburne said. Graham was killed by one shot to the chest, he said.
Graham and other cadets were on a weeklong exercise at the training facility 15 miles northeast of Kalamazoo, Shelburne said.