They were talking about gun safety when a sheriff’s deputy’s gun went off, killing another deputy.
But Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced today that it was “nothing but an accident.”
Not that they have interviewed the cop who shot and killed Sergeant Rod Lucas, a 46-year-old father of four who had worked for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office since 1996.
Nor have they released his name for that matter.
All we can tell you now is that Lucas became the 961st police shooting victim this year, according to Killed by Police.
And even though he was shot and killed in the line of duty, he is not mentioned on Officer Down, the site that tracks the names and numbers of officers killed in the line of duty.
The incident took place Monday inside “a room at the sheriff’s special investigations unit office near Fresno Yosemite International Airport,” according to the Fresno Bee.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Mims said Lucas and a colleague, described only as a detective, were discussing safety of backup weapons when the detective’s gun went off.
Lucas died later at Community Regional Medical Center. Mims said staff in the investigations unit are plainclothes officers who investigate crimes such as narcotics and vice. No one was wearing a bulletproof vest.
“He was truly a leader in the best terms I can describe,” Mims said of Lucas, who joined the Sheriff’s Office in September 1996. “He was the sergeant that people wanted to work for.”
The incident still is being investigated. Mims said the detective whose gun went off has not been interviewed, nor had the sheriff spoken to him, “because of his mental state,” she said.
Message Sgt. Rod Lucas’ wife asked Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims to pass along
“We’re giving him the time he needs,” said Mims, who declined to identify the detective by name. “We’re taking care of him.”
There was no disagreement or argument occurring when the gun went off, Mims said. “There was nothing like that going on. We have no reason to think it was anything but an accident.”
But as any gun owner will tell you, there are no accidental gun discharges. This was a negligent discharge.