Three students were injured at a Seaside, California high school Tuesday when a teacher accidentally fired a gun during a public safety course, police said.
Dennis Alexander, a teacher and resource officer at Seaside High School, was teaching his Administration of Justice class about gun safety when his gun went off, KSBW reports.
Alexander is also a reserve officer with the Sand City Police Department.
#BREAKING A teacher who also serves as a reserve police officer accidentally fired a gun inside a Seaside High School classroom, police said, and three students were injured: https://t.co/A41iV0kzVb pic.twitter.com/cQ4tFxTVM1 — KSBW Action News 8 (@ksbw) March 14, 2018
The gun was reportedly pointed at the ceiling when it fired, and pieces of the ceiling fell to the ground.
The Seaside Police Department said in a news release that no one suffered "serious injuries." However, one 17-year-old boy was struck in the neck with bullet fragments that ricocheted off the ceiling.
The boy's parents said they rushed him to the hospital when he came home with blood on his shirt and bullet fragments in his neck.
"It's the craziest thing. It could have been very bad," the boy's father, Fermin Gonzales, told KSBW. "He's shaken up, but he's going to be OK. I'm just pretty upset that no one told us anything and we had to call the police ourselves to report it."
Gonzales said the teacher was using his gun for a demonstration about how to disarm someone. He had just told the class he wanted to make sure his gun wasn't loaded when it fired.
Alexander was placed on administrative leave from his teaching position at Seaside High School, according to a letter sent to parents.
MPUSD is reporting no one was injured when a teacher accidentally discharged a firearm in class today. A letter has been sent to Seaside High School parents and I've included a screenshot of that letter below. The teacher, who is not being identified, was placed on leave. pic.twitter.com/hmd6Q504gq — Caitlin Conrad (@CaitlinKSBW) March 13, 2018
Alexander was also placed on leave from his position with the Sand City Police.
"I have concerns about why he was displaying a loaded firearm in a classroom," Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante told KSBW. "We will be looking into that."
Teachers are not legally allowed to have firearms in California classrooms, even if they have a concealed carry permit.
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