Garda undergoes surgery after accidentally shooting himself in foot
Gsoc investigating accidental discharge of firearm in patrol car in Limerick
The injured garda is attached to the regional armed support unit. Each member of the unit undergoes months of specialised firearms training.
A garda has undergone emergency surgery after his personal firearm accidentally discharged inside his patrol car.
The garda sustained a gunshot wound to his ankle at Mayorstone Park garda station in Limerick city on Thursday. The circumstances surrounding how the gun fired remain unclear and Garda management have “referred” the matter to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc).
A Gsoc spokesman confirmed it had “received a referral to an incident yesterday”. The spokesman added: “Gsoc is not making any further comment at this time.”
The injured garda is attached to the regional Armed Support Unit (ASU), sources said.
Each member of the elite garda unit undergoes months of specialised firearms training. They are armed with lethal weapons including, a Sig Sauer P226 9mm handgun, and a Heckler & Koch MP7 sub machine gun.
The unit also carries a Benelli M4 Super 90 semi-automatic shotgun in its patrol cars.
According to sources the bullet that struck the garda was discovered resting inside his patrol car, near the footwell of the vehicle. Forensic officers recovered and removed the spent shell for technical examination.
A source said the injured garda is “very respected” in the force and is very experienced in using firearms.
The security source said it was always possible that some part of a gun may “degrade” which could possibly lead to a malfunction.
“The ASU in Limerick were instrumental in solving the gang feud. They are an absolute credit to the force and the gangs are terrified of them,” the source said. “They are highly trained and highly thought of by everyone in the force And they have high standards to maintain. They’re a brilliant asset, super operators, but there is always a chance.”
It is unclear if the garda in question was with colleagues at the time or alone in the patrol car when the gun discharged. Sources said the garda was on duty at the time and that he may have been about to go on a break when the gun went off.
“Gsoc will be looking at it to see if he followed all the proper procedures on carrying a firearm,” the security source said. “The ASU carry the Sig Sauer, their personal firearm on their person at all times. They usually only take out the MP7 in certain circumstances if there is an attack imminent. They have to follow certain escalation protocols.”