Utah elementary teacher accidentally shoots self in leg at school

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TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- A teacher at Westbrook Elementary is in good condition after she accidentally shot herself in the leg at school Thursday morning.

Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said the teacher's gun accidentally discharged in a faculty restroom around 8:45 a.m., before school was in session.

He said no students or other employees were in the area.

Horsley said the teacher is a concealed weapons permit holder and she was not legally obligated to notify the school district of that fact.

MORE: State law - Concealed carry and weapons on campus

The teacher was taken to Intermountain Medical Center for treatment of her injury and was said to be alert, sitting up and speaking to her family.

"Student safety is our primary concern and we are grateful that the injuries sustained by this teacher are not life threatening and that no students or other faculty were injured," he said.

School officials said counselors are available for students, faculty and staff on campus.

Horsley said the incident is being investigated by Granite School District police and there does not appear to be any criminal intent.

The teacher's name was not disclosed.

49 comments

    • Arlee

      Glock does not make holsters where she was carrying her pistola! And it is impossible to holster a Glock with your finger on the trigger because of the safe action system. Bob, my comment makes more sense than yours but you either were not serious or just hate Glocks that most cops carry! Lol

      • Bob

        Among others Arlee I happen to own and appreciate my Glock. As you well know there is a safety consisting of a lever within the trigger assembly that must be depressed before the gun will fire. As several peace officers will testify if you attempt to holster the weapon with your finger on the trigger the trigger safety is depressed and the trigger is then free to travel back.

      • bob

        Happens all the time, Arlee. There are a lot of cops with holes in their feet because of that design flaw.

        Whatever the case may be, she clearly did something stupid and ignorant. I carry all the time, including in schools, and I KNOW my gun isn’t going to “go off.”

        Guns do not “go off.” They do exactly as they’re told, and only as they’re told.

      • Bob

        Well Bob, If you can’t afford a good pistol like a Colt 1911 then I guess I can understand your arrogant and condescending attitude towards a lady that was just trying to do her best and provide for her own protection! Cops only carry Glocks because they have to and their departments are cheap. You probably have a New York trigger spring also! A person throwing rocks will eventually be able to knock cans off the post! Cowboy up and buy yourself a real gun!

  • Barbara

    I hope the teacher recovers quickly and learns her lesson – you do not take carrying firearms into a school lightly. I wish there was some way to determine if concealed carry people had common sense. She COULD have injured someone else by her carelessness. Yes – she was careless – to say anything else is to distort the facts. Do Not Carry If You Can’t Control Your Weapon!

    • bob

      I’ll go for a Common Sense Test for carrying around children as soon as there is a Common Sense Test for HAVING children.

  • Paul Duane

    This story should be no more remarkable than “Area Math Teacher Gets Into Car Accident In Parking Lot”. Unfortunate, yes. Worthy of fear – mongering news headlines? NO. Accidents happen, people.

  • zmckee

    Brace yourselves…an anti-gun activist flood is about to happen. I’m with Paul Duane on this…accidents happen. Should we report every fender bender our teachers get into?

    • Arlee

      All of the anti-gun zealots, anti-second amendment have already posted to the story on Anti-gunksl
      I am proud of FOX13 as they traveled to front sight to learn about guns. Way to go FOX13

  • izzykat1

    Leave it to the liberal media to blow things completely out of proportion; this happened early morning before any students were at school. She should refresh her skills at a gun range with a qualified instructor.

    • Arlee

      Most gun accidents occur with an unloaded gun. Could it be that the teacher was unloading her handgun in the teacher lounge before class? A sherif deputy in southern Utah di the same thing and shot himself in both legs. First you remove the magazine. Second you remove the cartridge from the chamber a triple check that there is not a cartridge in the chamber. Then you can pull the trigger so the gun is not cocked. If you remove the cartridge in the chamber first and release the slide, you have just inserted another cartridge into the chamber! Then remove the magazine and pull the trigger – BANG! The deputy in southern Utah who had lots of firearms training made that simple mistake and had a tragic negligent discharge. Maybe this teacher did the same. Always remember to do the First and remove the magazine and then Second clear the chamber by removing the cartridge. Then verify 3x that the chamber is clear by racking the slide and pull the trigger in a safe direction. I do this and have never had a negligent discharge in 53 years of carrying and using guns. Worked with M-16’s in Viet Nam. Works with all guns with a magazine. Works! Do it that way and be safe! :-)

      • bob

        Arlee: Are you freaking kidding me? No unloaded gun in the history of firearms has EVER discharged. Ever.

        Sheesh. And there is no reason to draw the weapon in the teacher’s lounge unless there is a target in there.

  • Paul

    The tragedy here is that fear and paranoia have driven so many Americans to thinking that they have to carry firearms in places like elementary schools. Think about that for a minute. Do you really believe that our country has become that much of a cesspool where we have to fear for our safety so much that we have to carry firearms literally everywhere we go? If true, as so many believe, that says a lot about the mental health of our nation. Why are people so afraid? What are they so afraid of now that didn’t exist 30 years ago? What has changed that is making so many people feel like they have to carry guns now? As a hunter, competitive IHMSA silhouette shooter, and firearms collector, I truly would like to know what has people living in such fear.

    • Arlee

      Paul, the world has changed. It used to be that if you stayed out of bad areas and at night, you were generally safe. Now with mass transit, violent crimes and assaults are occurring throughout Utan and the Nation. There is no safe place anymore! So if a woman or man is going to be alone or otherwise, personal safety is their responsibility. When police are called and seconds matter, police will arrive minutes (possibly). Also the United States Supreme Court ruled the police do not have a duty to protect you individually. They have a collective responsibility to protect society. There is a difference!

    • bob

      Fear and paranoia has convinced people that there is a reason why responsible people SHOULDN’T.

      Utah teachers have been able to carry in schools (along with any other person with a carry permit) for 20 years, in Utah. Number of kids shot: Zero. Number of school shootings discouraged: We’ll never know.

      Carrying a gun is a right. I don’t do it because I’m in fear, or “paranoid.” I carry it because I DON’T KNOW whether I need it or not. That’s not my decision to make. Such decisions are made by bad guys. So I just carry it, like I carry my cell phone in the opposite pocket, and my wallet in the back.

  • Georgia Vallejos

    I wonder how that happened! I guess accidents happen to the best of us, but all guns have a safety. I hope the teacher is okay. I also work at a school, and have a carry permit, and I am not the only one. I did a lot of research on line to see what the experts recommend as a carry weapon for a lady, and decided on a hammerless 38 revolver. That would be pretty hard to set off by mistake, it takes a hefty pull on the double-action trigger to shoot it. I take it to the range regularly and am very confident that I wouldn’t shoot anybody by accident, and that I would hit where I aim. I would put myself in danger to protect any one of the kids in my school. I hope all the anti-gun people out there can see that we with carry permits are not crazed, trigger-happy maniacs, but take the responsibility of carrying a weapon very, very seriously.

    • bob

      Read Arlee’s post, above, for Arlees theory as to one possible scenario. Bear in mind you’re reading a post from somebody who thinks “most gun accidents happen with unloaded guns”, and that “the Glock safety system prevents the gun from going off if you try to holster it with your finger on the trigger.”

      Arlee may also believe in the Tooth Fairy, but that’s just one theory.

  • mike

    I’m all for teachers with guns, but how does that happen, was she playing around with it while peeing? Some people shouldn’t carry guns, I hope she gets fired, whatever the reason if you can’t pee without shooting yourself in the leg you have no business carrying a gun and most certainly shouldn’t be around children with one. God forbid if she actually had to use it, she’d shoot herself or one of her students long before protecting them.

    • Bob

      I would like a list of all the teachers in public schools with a concealed carry permit. If their salaries are public information, this shouldn’t be a problem. Parents need to be informed who is bringing guns around their children. At least give them a choice. This IS America, right? It’s a right to have guns, we should have the right to avoid them as well.

      • Theresa

        why should a teachers private right to carry be posted. If your a teacher doesn’t mean you are owned by the parents fool. The other thing is having several teachers armed keeps it so no one avoid the carry teacher and kills the non carry teachers. Not knowing is what keeps the whole building safe. Do you think your job should own everything in your life. Why should public school teacher permits be posted because taxes pay their income? Should everyone that has a permit to carry be posted in your local newspaper.

  • brenda lott

    Maybe he should of went for more training before he even took it to school. But I think schools all should have undercover cops on school to protect our kids or troops.

  • Galen

    Too bad most of the media didn’t get the story right or distorted the facts. ABC’s headline got it right. She was not shot.

  • Brian Michael Owens

    I don’t understand why people don’t know the meaning of Accident. Accident does not mean Negligent people. Here is the meaning in case you want to refresh your vocabulary.

    ac·ci·dent
    noun \ˈak-sə-dənt, -ˌdent; ˈaks-dənt\
    : a sudden event (such as a crash) that is not planned or intended and that causes damage or injury
    : an event that is not planned or intended : an event that occurs by chance

  • steven

    Why was the gun being carried with a bullet in the chamber. And she should be questioned and held accountable for her negligence in gun safety. No matter where this happened. That is where some question should be.

  • Paul

    Did I miss something? Where did it say she was carrying a Glock? Or did a different article say that. If you carry concealed,one of the most awkward things to do is to keep control of your weapon while making a head call. There have numerous AD’s connected with dropping guns on tile floors while doing your business. If she was carrying a 1911 gen1 style, with the hammer down on a loaded chamber, it is possible to fire when dropped. Playing with her gun? Probably just trying to maintain control and dropped it. This is one reason I carry concealed in a shoulder holster.
    Why did she have a round chambered someone said. Fire her they said. I would transfer my kid to a different school they said. To them I say this. If you need to use your gun, having to stop and chamber a round just might get you killed. For the anti gunners, would you rather, if there was a situation, have everyone line up with their faces to the wall waiting for someone to shoot them in the back of the head, ala Virginia Tech? Sheep to the slaughter? I would rather have my kid defended by anyone with a gun, untrained or not, willing to and the stones to aim and shoot at the bad guys when needed.

  • Bob

    How fortunate for T.J. Lane that no teachers at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio had concealed firearms. It simplified his task of killing as many of his fellow students as possible.

    On the bright side they all had cell phones and were able to call 911 for the help they couldn’t provide.

  • Theresa

    What is truly the sad part of this story is that a teacher feels so unsafe that they feel like they have to carry in a school. My husband was a teacher for 30 plus years. The last 10 years I feared for him like a police officers wife fears for her husband. As for carrying I own a gun store and am a woman that carries. You can not choice where you will need a gun and she was mostly likely well within her rights to protect herself and her students. Look around on your news you do not read about this happening every day its rare. Thousands of people carry. Us woman do not take our guns out of the holster when using the bathroom, just like you men. Until you know the whole story its stupid to say rude things. Maybe her gun fell out, maybe the gun has a issue with the safety being broke. You just don’t know. A lot of holsters are designed to fit men. The women’s holsters are not great in my opinion and are like womens clothing at Gander Mountain why too expensive for what they are.

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