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Duluth cop's gun discharges in City Hall restroom

City Hall

If anyone thought they heard a gunshot one afternoon in City Hall last month - they did.

Duluth police told the News Tribune on Thursday that an officer accidentally discharged a firearm while in the process of washing his hands in a restroom located near the tunnel leading from City Hall to the St. Louis County Courthouse.

According to a police report of the incident:

The officer had been using the restroom at about 4:20 p.m. on April 28. He took off his cell phone, his badge, pistol, handcuffs, extra magazine and mace holder from his belt and placed them on an infant changing table in the restroom.

After he washed his hands, the last item he picked up was his .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. He reached for the gun with his right hand and with his left hand began to replace the infant changing table to its stowed position against the wall.

"As I did these two motions together, my handgun slipped out of my right hand,'' the officer wrote in his report. "I believe that the edge of the changing table hit the barrel end of my handgun as I lifted it, knocking the handgun out of my hand. I immediately reached to grab for my handgun before it could fall onto the floor of the restroom. As I was able to grab it with my right hand, one of my fingers apparently accidentally depressed the trigger on the handgun, discharging one round from the handgun, which went through the very bottom of the wall-mounted baby changing table and into the eastern wall of the restroom.''

The bullet didn't go through the wall into the hallway, the officer said. He immediately went to Deputy Police Chief Mike Tusken to report the incident. No one was injured.

"I have always had respect for firearms, but that level of respect, and my humility, have increased as a result of this event,'' the officer wrote in his report.