Cranston officer’s gun accidentally discharges after Weymouth officer’s funeral

Massachusetts
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(WPRI) — Cranston police are investigating internally after an officer’s gun accidentally went off shortly after Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna’s funeral, sending asphalt flying at two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police officers.

Cranston Police Colonel Michael Winquist said an internal “shooting review team” would look into what happened, how the gun went off and how to prevent it from happening in the future. 

According to a Braintree Police report obtained by Eyewitness News, the shooting took place inside a bus in the staging area near the funeral site. The report says the Cranston sergeant discharged one round inside the bus, which exited the bus and hit the pavement outside. The impact sent some asphalt flying into the air, which hit two MIT police officers. Both officers declined medical treatment, according to the report.

“This was clearly an accident,” Winquist said. “We’re very happy that nobody was seriously injured…It was a regrettable incident and we take it very seriously.”

Winquist said the sergeant has worked for the department for many years without any similar incidents. He said the officer would not be placed on administrative leave during the internal review because no one was seriously injured or killed.

He added that the honor guard uniform, which the sergeant was wearing at Chesna’s funeral, has a different holster and equipment than Cranston’s normal police uniform. The internal review may determine that changes should be made to the honor guard uniform or holster.

Chesna died in the line of duty on July 15 when he attempted to stop an erratic driver in Weymouth. The pursuit turned deadly after police said the suspect, Emanuel Lopes, fled on foot, threw a rock at Chesna’s head, and was able to obtain the officer’s gun. Lopes allegedly shot Chesna 10 times.

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