Texas officer accidentally shot to death during training exercise [Arlington, TX]
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - A police officer was shot and killed Thursday during training at a junior high on how to handle a gunman inside a school buidling.
Officer Joey Cushman was among 20 to 30 officers who were training at Ousley Junior High School, police spokeswoman Danetta Chube said. The school year had ended, and no students were present.
All of the officers wore full gear that includes a helmet and a bullet-proof vest. Rubber bullets were supposed to be used during the exercise, but police were not immediately sure what type of bullet killed Cushman.
Cushman worked in the patrol division and was an instructor with the tactical department, but it was unclear what his role was in the training exercise, Chube said.
"We're still trying to determine what happened," department spokesman Sgt. James Hawthorne said. "This is a very tragic situation, a very sad situation."
Cushman, 26, was shot in the head about 6 p.m. and was pronounced dead at a hospital three hours later.
"We're here to train, to make sure schools are safe. Then an officer was shot - that's devastating," Chube said.
Cushman was valedictorian of the police academy class and was rookie of the year in 1998, Chube said. He had been promoted to corporal only a day earlier.
"He was an excellent officer, highly respected. The Police Department is extremely saddened at the news of the loss of Officer Cushman," said Arlington Police Chief Theron Bowman.