A city of Warren building inspector was hospitalized Friday morning after accidentally shooting himself in the leg while on the job in city hall.The 62-year-old man was reholstering his .45-caliber handgun in the men’s bathroom about 10 a.m. when it accidentally fired and hit him in the hip, according to Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green. The bullet split in two in his leg and both fragments lodged in his knee area, Green said. He was taken to William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
“It was absolutely accidental,” Green said. “There was someone in the stall who said he came out and asked what happened, and he said, ‘I shot myself.’ He probably said some other things, too.”Police officers and paramedics responded to the third floor, where the building department is located, said Deputy Fire Commissioner Gary Wilkinson. He was treated and transported by city ambulance to the hospital, where a detective interviewed him.
The man, whose name was not released, appeared to go into shock and slipped in and out of consciousness, Green said.Mayor James Fouts described the veteran electrical inspector as an “affable, mild-mannered, highly experienced inspector.”
Green said the building inspector is a reserve police officer in Oakland County.Green said the incident was similar to an incident several years ago when a Warren police officer shot himself in the bathroom of the police department. The man recovered and returned to the force, he said.
“It’s easy to do,” he said. “It happens a lot.”The man has a permit to carry the handgun, and there is no city policy preventing him from doing so, Fouts said.
“People have a Constitutional right to carry a gun and the Michigan Legislature gives people the right to carry guns,” Fouts said. “People have come to our City Council meetings carrying handguns.”Fouts said he will direct new City Attorney David Griem to research the matter and determine whether the city should develop a policy regarding employees carrying weapons, due to liability concerns