JSO instructor injured by blank gun; corrections officer pulls trigger at point-blank

Former officer Chip Williams was sent to the hospital after he was shot in the back by a blank by Tyler Kovacs, police say. JSO doesn't know why.

A 25-year veteran and part-time Jacksonville Sheriff's Office instructor was shot point blank with a blank gun and sustained a wound that sent him to the hospital.

During a training exercise involving both road and corrections officers, a corrections officer, Tyler Kovacs, took a gun which shoots blanks, from the waistband of an instructor, pressed it point-blank to instructor Chip Williams' back, and pulled the trigger. 

Kovacs has been with JSO for 5 months.

Though there was no projectile in the gun, which is used for a simulated active-shooter portion of the class, there is gunpowder (as seen in the blank round on the left in the photo shown below), pressure, and gasses which cause the gun to make noise.

With the gun so close to the instructor's skin, it did break the skin, causing a wound. Williams was taken to the hospital but he is in stable condition.

Tom Hackney with JSO said this class is used to train officers how to respond to violence. The class is sometimes used to give additional training to officers who have been involved in shootings or need additional training. The students are instructed not to touch the blank gun. They are given guns with soap-based simunition for the exercise. 

"Whatever he was thinking, it wasn't the right thing," said Hackney of Kovacs.

JSO has said it is too early to know whether Kovacs will be reprimanded for the incident.

FSCJ is open and everyone on campus is safe and accounted for.

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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