Third-grader fires Maplewood cop's holstered gun; no one hurt

A gathering designed to build relationships between Maplewood police and some grade-schoolers nearly turned tragic Monday when a child got his finger on the officer's holstered gun and pulled the trigger.

A school liaison officer at Harmony Learning Center in Maplewood was in the gym Monday afternoon talking to a group of third- and fourth-graders, the Maplewood Police Department said in a statement.

While the officer was seated on a bench, the third-grader sitting next to the officer "reached over and placed his finger into the officer's gun holster and pressed the trigger of the officer's gun causing it to discharge through the bottom of the holster," the department said, adding the bullet struck the floor and "no one was injured."

The unnamed officer did not know the child was touching his gun until the weapon discharged, according to the statement, which noted that the holster was a department-approved holster with a trigger guard that typically cannot be touched or fired in the holster, "but the child's small finger was able to reach inside."

Maplewood authorities say they're reviewing what happened and the design of the holster the officer was wearing "to prevent future instances."

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