Off-duty police officer's gun accidentally fires during wrestling tournament at Michigan high school

Bullet strikes gymnasium floor

By Amber Ainsworth, Koco McAboy - Reporter

FOWLERVILLE, Mich. - A gunshot rang out at Fowlerville High School during a wrestling tournament Saturday.

Police said an off-duty police officer was at the school to watch his son wrestle when his weapon accidentally discharged about 12:40 p.m. The bullet struck the gymnasium floor.

One person was treated for a twisted ankle they suffered while fleeing the scene, police said, but no one was hurt as a result of the shooting.

John Allen, 12, was among several kids who came to compete. John was preparing to wrestle when the unexpected happened.

"I'm waiting by my mat on a stair, and right next to me, about like five inches away, all I hear is a loud boom, and a gun goes right next to my foot and barely misses me," John said.

John was in the thick of it.

"I remember right away I just yelled, and my mom grabbed me, and I just ran," John said.

Coaches, such as Maxwell Johnson, immediately checked on their kids, too.

"For most kids, they've never heard a gunshot, so it scares them and it's emotional," Johnson said.

So what happened?

"A parent had a revolver in their pocket that discharged somehow and went off in the middle of our wrestling tournament," said Steve Richardson, an official with Michigan USA Wrestling.

The parent happened to be an off-duty officer who was at the school to watch his son wrestle. Police said the gun accidentally discharged somehow and the bullet ended up in the gymnasium floor.

"After the police were here and did their investigation and did what they had to do, we were able to resume wrestling and finish our tournament," Richardson said.

"This time, it was an accident. Never know when it's a real thing and it could be anywhere," said Jack Turnblom, a parent.

The incident remains under investigation, and a report will be forwarded to the Livingston County prosecutor for review after the investigation is complete, police said.

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