Va. Police Returning Holsters after Officer's Gun Goes Off in Hospital

Oct. 27, 2021
Issues with the Virginia Beach Police Department's holsters were investigated after an officer's weapon discharged in a hospital stairwell during an "extensive struggle" with a patient.

By Sierra Jenkins

Source The Virginian-Pilot

Virginia Beach police recalled the department’s gun holsters after an officer’s gun discharged during a struggle with a patient at a Sentara hospital last week.

The department said in a news release Tuesday an investigation showed “a potential defect in the issued holster.”

On Friday, a 38-year-old man allegedly fled police when an officer caught up to him in a stairwell where the pair were in an “extensive struggle,” police said in a news release Saturday. The patient “attempted to disarm the officer resulting in the handgun discharging.”

The patient, Matthew Christie, was arrested in connection with the death of his 74-year-old mother, Linda Christie. He was hospitalized at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital because he was seriously injured when officers found him inside a residence Oct. 16 in the 2400 Block of Loran Court, off Pacific Avenue.

The department’s Training Bureau performed an “after-action review” and examined the officer’s equipment after Friday’s events. Officials asked officers to turn in their Safariland model holsters after the review’s findings.

“The new holster was adopted to accommodate the signal side-arm technology necessary for the department’s body worn cameras to turn on automatically whenever an officer withdraws their weapon from its holster,” the release said.

Officers still have body cameras that can be manually activated. Responding officers are required to activate their body camera when they begin responding to a call. Additionally, the department is using in-car camera technology that activates all body cameras in an area, the release said.

“We are extremely disappointed because we thought we had a reliable solution that automatically activates our cameras,” Deputy Chief Sean Adams said in a prepared statement.

Adams said redistributing the department’s old holsters is the next best option for the time being. In the meantime, officials are working with a vendor to find a long-term solution.


©2021 The Virginian-Pilot.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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