Gary reserve officer shot and killed at firing range
Septembe 30, 2007 (WLS) -- An investigation has been launched into death of a Gary, Indiana reserve police officer. Kevin Weaver, 49, died at a gun range after he was shot accidentally.
Gary police officials say it was the first time in the 20-year history of the auxiliary police officer program that there has been an incident of this sort. Kevin Weaver was an exemplary cop, working an unpaid 40-hour shift. Authorities say his death looks to be the result of a terrible accident.
According to authorities, Gary Auxillary Police Officer Kevin Weaver died not at the hands of a gun-wielding suspect, but at the hands of one of his own.
"My uncle was a hard worker. He worked three jobs, and he worked hard to provide for his family," said Mark Cohill, Weaver's nephew.
As Weaver's family grieves, Hammond police, who are investigating the shooting with the help of Gary police, have initially ruled the shooting accidental. Around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the already qualified Weaver was helping several other Gary reserve police officers train for the semi-annual firearms qualification at an Indiana gun range. Something went wrong there.
"We know an officer was turning to return to the firing line, and Officer Weaver came up and bumped him as he was turning, which caused him to fall back and the weapon discharged," said Cmdr. Sam Roberts of the Gary Police Department.
Weaver, who was struck in the arm and chest, died later at an area hospital. He was a long-time custodian for the Gary Public Schools, but began volunteering as one of Gary's 91 reserve officers in 1990.
Weaver's family would like him to be remembered as a man committed to his community and his love of law enforcement.
"It's kind of hard right now because it happened so unexpectedly, and then, the way it happened. It took us all off guard, and no one is really prepared or ready for death," said Cohill.
ABC7 Chicago has been told that the fellow officer whose gun discharged is hospitalized because of the emotional trauma.
Weaver leaves behind a wife and three children.
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