Firearms Instructor Shoots Himself During Gun Lesson

11-year police veteran was teaching family members
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2014 10:37 AM CDT
Firearms Instructor Shoots Himself During Gun Lesson

If making mistakes is best way to learn, Texas firearms instructor Sgt. Heath Vanek gave his family members a great lesson last month. The Hewitt Police Department officer was teaching them to shoot, and while showing them how to clear the chamber of a jammed semi-automatic … he shot himself in the hand. "(Vanek) said, 'I made a classic mistake,'" Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin tells the Waco Tribune. Thanks to the bullet wound in his left hand, Vanek, 35, will be out of work for two months while he recovers from surgery.

The lesson took place on Vanek’s property on July 15, and involved his own 9mm pistol. Regardless, the incident will be investigated internally by the department and there will be consequences, if only to get Vanek’s teaching chops up to scratch. "I do see a potential for some re-teaching and some remediation," Devlin says. Vanek has been the Hewitt PD’s firearms instructor for five of the 11 years he’s been on the force. (More accidental discharge stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.