A police officer from Sansom Park, Texas was shot in the face with a live round during an active shooter training exercise at an elementary school in Forrest Hill on Saturday.
In a Saturday statement, the Forrest Hill Police Department announced an officer sustained a single gunshot wound training event the police department was hosting with the help of a third-party training organization. The incident occurred at about 2:12 p.m. and participating officers immediately began rendering first aid before the wounded officer was transferred to John Peter Smith Hospital in downtown Fort Worth.
The wounded officer was identified as Sansom Police Officer Lina Mino in a Facebook post shared by the Brotherhood for the Fallen – Fort Worth, TX on Sunday. According to the post, she sustained a gunshot wound to the face and already underwent surgery. The police organization said Mino “will require additional surgeries in the near future, as a result of the head trauma.”
Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer told CBS News that Mino was struck with a live round.
According to the Forrest Hill Police Department statement, the training was not a live-fire training and weapons were prohibited.
Spencer told CBS News the training event was put on at David K. Sellars Elementary in Forest Hill. Spencer said the third party organization provided the training equipment used and there was no plan for any live fire training.
The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are jointly investigating the training incident.
Forrest Hill Mayor Stephanie Boardingham has asked the community to “keep Sansom Park Police Department & Forest Hill Police Department in your thoughts and prayers.”
Charley Wilkison, the executive director of Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), told FOX 4, a type of non-lethal training ammunition known as a Simunition is required for this kind of training.
A Simunition bullet fires a marking round similar to a paintball and is used by military and law enforcement members to simulate live fire from their service weapons without the lethality. According to their manufacturer, Simunitions rounds must be fired from a weapon with an installed conversion kit. This conversion kit allows users to quickly swap between the components to fire real or simulation rounds and are meant to help avoid the potential use of a live round during a non-lethal training exercise.
Wilkison said there is “no reason why, in a training scenario, there would be live ammo like that in the building or in the room.”
“It seems like it could be avoided,” Wilkison added. “It’s the job of the officers on the ground, and the trainers, and the officers in charge to make sure nothing like this happens.”
It’s unclear who fired the live round, from which agency they belonged and if their employment status has changed as a result of this incident.