Dancing FBI agent charged over accidental shooting
AN off-duty FBI agent who investigators say accidentally fired a weapon that fell while he was dancing at a Denver bar, wounding another patron in the leg, has been charged with second-degree assault.
Chase Bishop, 29, turned himself in to the Denver Sheriff’s Department earlier in the day and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, local time.
Police have said Bishop was dancing at the downtown bar on June 2 when the gun fell from his waistband holster onto the floor. The firearm went off when he picked it up, and another customer suffered a serious but non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the lower leg.
WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
The victim was treated and released from a hospital.
Additional charges could be filed based on the results of a blood-alcohol content test, which has not yet been received, authorities said.
“We are filing this charge now rather than waiting until the BAC report is received, which we understand could take another week, because sufficient evidence has been presented to file it,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said.
The FBI declined comment Tuesday “in order to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation,” spokeswoman Amy Sanders said.
“The FBI will continue to fully cooperate with the Denver Police Department and the Denver District Attorney’s Office as this matter proceeds through the judicial process,” she said.
Booking documents do not indicate if Bishop has hired an attorney.
The New York Post reports, Bishop’s gun discharged and struck fellow reveller Tom Reddington in the leg at the Mile High Spirits bar in Downtown Denver.
Bishop pounced on the weapon but accidentally squeezed off a single round. He then placed the gun in his waistband and walked off the dance floor with his hands in the air, the video shows.
“We sat down at one of those picnic tables — I heard a loud bang and I thought some idiot set off a firecracker,” Reddington told ABC News later.
“Then I looked down at my leg and see some brown residue… All of a sudden from the knee down it became completely red. Then it clicked that I’ve been shot.”
Reddington is expected to fully recover, his lawyer has said.
Legal experts have said Reddington might be able to sue Bishop if he is proved to have been negligent.
Denver police initially described the incident as “an apparent accidental shooting”.