The Glock 9, carried by Sheriff Donnie Craig as a back-up weapon, will be sent to the manufacture to determine why it discharged in Wal-Mart.
“I had my hands in front of me at the time,” Craig said about the December incident. “I didn’t realize it was my weapon until I reached behind me to grab it.”
Craig was cleared of any wrong doing by a Grand Jury. However, the Grand Jury, along with the DA’s office and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated the incident, determined the policy on how firearms are carried on-duty should be examined and changed.
“We actually did that before the Grand Jury came back with that recommendation,” said Craig.
The policy added a mandatory trigger guard on all holsters and an inspection process for all holsters, not just the primary one.
He said he the issue was not addressed by other agencies, even nationally recognized ones.
What caused the gun to misfire is unknown. Even the investigation found no answers, but a quick internet search revealed that Craig’s Glock isn’t the only one misfiring. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department reported several incidents of Glocks accidentally discharging.
Gun enthusiasts use the term “negligent discharge” however, the report from B. Alison Sosebee, District Attorney for the Appalachian Circuit, uses the phrase “accidental discharge.” Click here to read more about negligent discharges.
The report states that a teenage girl received a cut from shrapnel, but it was minor and did not require stitches. Her mother declined to comment for this story.
Craig was in Wal-Mart as part of the department’s “Shop with a Cop” program on Dec. 17, 2019, when his Glock 43 discharged. An investigation concluded the weapon, an agency issued back-up weapon, was holstered by a Techna Clip, a minimalist holster that only clips the gun to a waist, with no trigger guard.
The new policy
Craig said he knows people believe he was not charged because he’s the Sheriff, but he points out that Pickens County has had several negligent or accidental discharges and no charges were brought. “One was arrested, but he was a convicted felon,” he said. Convicted felons are not allowed to handle or own firearms.
“I’ve tried to be transparent,” he said. “I didn’t have to notify any other agency, but I did.”
He called the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, who declined to investigate. Then he called the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deparrtment. The CCSO investigated and turned their findings over to the District Attorney, who brought it to the Grand Jury.
Craig said he hasn’t carried that particular Glock since the incident and won’t until it’s been cleared by the manufacturer.
“I was surprised at how many accidental discharges I read about,” Craig said about the Glock. “I would have trouble believing it could happen, if it hadn’t happened to me.”