Origins: "Do as I say, not as I do" is an aphorism we usually associate with those who give others instructions or advice or guidelines that they themselves don't follow. That phrase springs to mind as an apt description of an incident involving a
On 9 April 2004, a DEA agent (who has not been identified by name in press accounts) delivered a presentation on gun safety to about
After the agent inquired to make sure no one else present had been hurt, he gamely limped around the front of the room, turning the mishap into an object lesson for his audience: "See how that accident happened, that could happen to you and you could be blown away." (A bit of humor occurred a few minutes later when the agent called for his assistant to hand him another gun, and a voice from the audience called out: "Put it down! Put it down!")
Fortunately, the agent did not sustain serious injury (it isn't clear from the news accounts and video whether he was actually hit by a bullet or suffered a powder burn to his thigh from the close-range discharge), and he returned to work after being treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
According to a news report of the time:
The Drug Enforcement Administration agent, whose name was not released, was giving a gun safety presentation to about
He drew his .40-caliber duty weapon and removed the magazine, according to the police report. Then he pulled back the slide and asked someone in the audience to look inside the gun and confirm it wasn't loaded, the report said.
Witnesses said the gun was pointed at the floor and when he released the slide, one shot fired into the top of his left thigh.
"The kids screamed and started to cry," said Vivian Farmer, who attended the presentation with her
"Everyone was pretty shaken up," Farmer said. "But the point of gun safety hit home. Unfortunately, the agent had to get shot. But after seeing that, my nephew doesn't want to have anything to do with guns."
The agent was treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center after the
Police ruled the shooting was an accident, but the DEA headquarters in Washington was still investigating, Kilmer said.
According to one press account, the distribution of the video prompted the DEA to suspend the agent involved and begin an investigation into the source of the tape:
An investigation has been launched to determine who leaked the home video of the undercover DEA agent shooting himself at an event sponsored by the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association.
Experts in the field said that the undercover agent should never have been videotaped because it could put the agent's life at risk.
"It puts a lot of undercover agents in jeopardy if their faces are videotaped," a masked agent told Local 6 News. "His identity is burned. His identity is known as a police officer and its a potential personal safety hazard to himself as well as his family members."
Last updated: 22 March 2005
Local6.com. "DEA Agent Shoots Self During Gun Safety Class." WKMG-TV. 30 April 2004. Local6.com. "DEA Agent Suspended After Shooting Video Surfaces." WKMG-TV. 18 March 2005.