The personal handgun of an off-duty police officer accidentally discharged at her home and hit a family member, Visalia police said Wednesday.
The unusual incident happened about 10:07 p.m. Monday.
The adult family member, a female, suffered wounds that were not life-threatening and had to be hospitalized, but was alert and conscious throughout the ordeal, police said.
Her name and how she is related to the officer were not released to protect her privacy, police said.
Patrol officer Amerie Norman was at home and a personal handgun was out when the gun accidentally discharged for reasons that are still unclear, police said. The bullet went through a wall and hit the victim, who was in bed sleeping.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department was asked to investigate and report its findings to the Police Department.
“We want to get to the bottom of what actually happened, and based on the investigation decide what to do next,” Sgt. Damon Maurice said.
Police believe the incident was an unfortunate accident but will wait for the Sheriff’s Department to conduct its investigation before coming to a final conclusion, he said.
Norman, a five-year veteran of the department, has been placed on administrative leave.