10/02/2003

Police officer accidentally killed while cleaning gun

The Associated Press

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) -- A decorated Decatur police officer was killed Tuesday when his gun accidentally fired while he was cleaning it, police said.

Police responded to William Robinson III's home at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and found him dead on his garage floor from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.

Robinson, 43, served for 22 years and recently received two Chief's Commendation medals for meritorious service, including one for rescuing a woman kidnapped in Huntsville as her abductors drove into Decatur.

Police have ruled out foul play, saying it was an accident.

Robinson is survived by his wife Janet, sons Matthew, 13, Andrew, 10, and brother Bobby Joe.

"Robbie was a great officer, father, husband and an asset to the community," Spokesman Lt. John Bradford said. "He will be greatly missed."

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