Colton police officer killed after accidentally shooting himself, chief says

Off-duty Colton police officer dies after accidentally shooting himself, authorities say

A Colton police officer is dead after he accidentally shot himself, the chief said Tuesday

A Colton police officer is dead after he accidentally shot himself, the chief said Tuesday

By Matthew Stolz, USA TODAY

Colton police confirmed Tuesday that an on-duty officer, on vacation with his family, accidentally shot himself during a practice gunfight.

Chief Robert G. “Bobby” White said the Colton officer died early Tuesday, but did not release the officer’s name to the media. But he said the man had returned to his residence and was able to self-transport, White said.

“The man was alert, able to speak in some language we couldn’t decipher,” White said of his wife and three children. “His family is devastated by his death.”

He said the investigation team, led by Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents, was at the residence to investigate the shooting death.

The shooting is not at all a matter of whether the officer used the gun he had in his shoulder holster as a target or a bulletproof vest, said G. Steven Ewing, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. The officer used his gun to protect himself during the self-defense training, he said.

The Columbine school shooter used a gun he carried to practice target practice on February 20, 1999, Ewing said.

The officer’s death is a tragic reminder “that gun culture is a culture of death and that most of us know the risks involved, but still carry guns,” Ewing said. “We need to stop carrying guns, stop using them and stop making excuses for the tragedies that take place when someone uses a gun illegally.”

Guns are dangerous, deadly and unnecessary, he said.

“We see all the reports of people shooting people in self-defense, but it’s still a dangerous and irresponsible way to take a life,” Ewing said. “We need laws across the nation to prohibit irresponsible use of guns.”

The shooting comes just a few days after a Dallas couple, who were

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