HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. - Investigators say a man was injured in what appears to have been a freak accident involving an off-duty police officer’s gun.
The shooting happened Friday night near Spring Grove Avenue and Ridgeglen Way in Highlands Ranch.
A friend of the victim told 7NEWS that the off-duty officer and two long-time friends were installing a strut bar on the officer’s car.
One of the friends was inside the vehicle. The other was trying to access an area in the trunk when he shifted some of the officer’s gear to one side. That’s when a gun that was in the trunk discharged.
The bullet apparently went through the back seat and struck the victim on the side of his torso.
“It lacerated his liver and his pancreas,” the friend said. “He’s in critical but stable condition.”
The officer and his two friends have known each other since middle school.
“They’re really good people,” said neighbor Tohi White. “My heart goes out to them. We’ll be praying for them.”
Investigators aren’t releasing names yet.
“We’re still investigating what happened,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ron Hanavan. “It appears, at this point, to have just been an accident.”
Boulder Police issued a statement early Saturday which said: “One of our off-duty officers was at the scene of what appears to be an accidental shooting in Douglas County, where one of the officer’s friends accidentally shot another friend. (The Boulder officer did not shoot the weapon.) The off-duty officer is the owner of the gun, but it is not a Police Department-issued weapon. The officer has been put on administrative leave as a precautionary measure until we find out more about what happened.”
Friends say the victim underwent surgery Saturday to repair internal injuries.