Monday, July 09, 2012

Please, Don't Squeeze The M&P Holster

In one of the strangest ways to earn a Darwin award, a female dancer embraced a Detroit off duty police officer from behind, apparently manipulating his S&W M&P pistol's trigger through the holster he wore, resulting in her being shot and killed.

Yes, really.

The Detroit News: Godbee vows to probe death of woman shot by off-duty cop's gun

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee on Monday vowed to investigate the death of a woman who was shot as she embraced an off-duty police officer during a party and the officer's holstered weapon discharged.

"To the family of Adaisha Miller, the deceased, on behalf of the Detroit Police Department and me being a father myself, I offer our sincerest condolences by what all apparent preliminary investigation indicates is a very tragic and unfortunate incident," Godbee said.

. . .

The victim, Adaisha Miller, was dancing behind the officer and "there was some manipulation along the officer's waistline that he did not control" when the department-issued Smith and Wesson M&P-40, a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol, fired and struck her in the chest, Godbee said.

"There was no indication the officer placed his hand on his weapon at all," he said.

That model isn't equipped with an external safety, police said.

Police on Monday identified the officer as Issac Parrish, a veteran officer who has been working for the department for nearly 16 years. Godbee said the off-duty holster the officer carried was soft enough for the trigger to be manipulated.

Miller was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

"While dancing, it's alleged that the female victim embraced the officer from behind, causing the holstered weapon to accidently discharge," police said in a press release late Sunday.

Considering it takes a fair bit of pressure to work a stock M&P's trigger, especially with the stock gritty triggers, this is indeed a weird occurrence, and almost too strange to be believed.

Perhaps it was in a floppy nylon holster or otherwise, but the mechanics of causing the trigger to be depressed from a hug is very peculiar indeed and rather hard to fathom.

Perhaps this was a playful and fatally dumb weapons snatch that went very wrong, or a playful squeeze along the lines of "Is this a gun in your pocket or are you happy to see me?" that went badly.

However it occurred, it has to be one of the stranger negligent discharges on record.

Lesson to be learned: Have a decent holster that prevents manipulation of the firearm's trigger while holstered, not to mention be alert to people making grabs from behind. Personally I don't carry in floppy nylon holsters and make sure the trigger is fully covered whenever it is being carried.

Certainly a sad waste of a life however it occurred, and it will be interesting to see how the conclusion from the investigation of the incident as to how it happened.

This reaffirms the ancient adage that while you can sometimes cop a feel, you should never try and feel a cop.

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