Deputy Unintentionally Shoots Student During ‘Bad Guy’ Drill

On November 17, around 9:30 am, a 19-year veteran with the Vermillion County Sheriff’s Office discharged his service weapon hitting and injuring a student.

South Vermillion High School was having a class take place teaching students how to be officers when the incident occurred. The scenario for the class included a “bad guy” drill with Deputy Tim DisPennett in attendance

DisPennett unintentionally fired his gun and hit a student. The student was taken to Terre Haute hospital to be treated. The student had non-life-threatening injuries.

“We will be talking to every student that was inside of the classroom. We will also be speaking with the deputy instructing the class, and we have crime scene investigators going through the classroom taking all the evidence,” said Sgt. Matt Ames from Indiana State Police, according to WTHITV.com.

SEE ALSO: ‘No Shoot Zone’ Activist Killed by Police After Holding Woman at Knifepoint

As with any discharging of a gun or shooting, the school building remained on lockdown while EMS personnel worked on the scene.

The Superintendent of South Vermillion Schools, Dave Champman, shared that the course is a law enforcement course hosted at other schools as well.

“This is the third or fourth year that we have had this class,” Chapman told Fox 59. “It’s very popular not only with our students but also the North Vermillion and Parke County students as well.”

Chapman added that normally plastic (dummy) guns are used as part of the class, “In this situation, it was a mistake that was made, on behalf of the sheriff’s deputy.”

DisPennett was placed on administrative leave by the Indiana State Police, and normal school activities have resumed at South Vermillion High School.

Sgt. Ames indicated that the investigation is ongoing. It’s unclear at this time if charges will be filed.

“We’re doing interviews with all the students who were present in the room,” Sgt. Ames explained. “We’ll be interviewing the deputy that was involved in the situation. Once that’s completed the crime scene investigators will go in, take all the information, and at the conclusion of the investigation it will be turned over to the Vermillion County Prosecutor’s Office for review.”

**Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Kenzie Fitzpatrick is the Owner of Reticle Up, LLC, a marketing agency specializing in working with businesses in the outdoor industry. She is a firearms instructor, a professional competitive shooter, a certified AR-15 armorer, and the host of the Reticle Up Podcast. She’s a positive voice in the 2A community, traveling the country to attend firearms events and sharing her passion with others.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Doc Loch November 26, 2022, 1:56 pm

    I would have a lot more mercy than you…IF the police and politicians were not so arrogant about who kills who with guns.

    but, “Let’s not bicker and argue about ooh, killed ooh.” Monty Python, The Holy Grail.

  • Ranger November 26, 2022, 10:53 am

    “Bad Guy Drill”. Dont get it. Don’t do bad guy drill with live fire firearms in area. Done drill with simunitions. Each firearm is extensively checked before dril commences. Department Policy? Just don’t understand this happening. Please help…

  • Dano November 25, 2022, 3:35 pm

    Red gun….duh

  • Dano November 25, 2022, 1:55 pm

    Yet we want to let anyone regardless of training and experience, buy a gun and carry it anywhere and everywhere loaded, cocked and unlocked, whatever someone chooses to do because it is their right…ridiculous.

  • JJ Karn November 25, 2022, 12:15 pm

    And here we have yet another story for the “only cops are professional enough to be trusted with guns” file.

  • Ronnie Maeker November 25, 2022, 12:05 pm

    Was he Alec Baldwin’s instructor…?

  • Nick S November 25, 2022, 10:36 am

    The headline could have been “Officer drills student during bad guy drill.” If this idiot is still on the force God help us.

  • Ray Rojas November 25, 2022, 10:02 am

    There is no such thing as an accidental discharge or negligent discharge. Unless that weapon malfunctioned ( parts keeping the striker or sear from releasing the hammer MELTED, BROKE OR SOME OTHER ISSUE) that deputy was at fault. NO ONE should aim a firearm at anyone or anything unless you are prepared to pull that trigger and destroy or kill your target. NO ONE brings a loaded gun to a training scenario AND without doing a safety check, pulls the fun from its (assuming here) holster and aims at target and pulls the trigger. THAT DEPUTY WAS AT FAULT, SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED, CHARGED, PROSECUTED, FINED AND FIRED FROM HIS JOB. FAMILY SHOULD SUE AS WELL.

    He should never be allowed to handle a firearm ever again.

    • Frank November 26, 2022, 6:28 am

      While I wholeheartedly agree that firearms do not discharge themselves, this incident illustrates the very definition of “negligent”. The Deputy involved NEGLECTED to practice basic firearms safety. Arguably, the term “accidental” could apply for the same reason. Any unintended action can be defined as an ACCIDENT. Even when someone is grossly and criminally negligent as in the case of a DUI, the resulting crash is still referred to as an accident. Using appropriate words to describe an event does not in any way excuse the liability of the instigator. As a former LEO myself, I am appalled by this Deputy’s actions. He should absolutely be held accountable… but that has no bearing on the definitions of certain words.

  • Bill November 25, 2022, 9:50 am

    Are there police departments still armed with the Glock. If you support a gun with no safety and a 5 to 6 lb. trigger pull I really wonder why. Sure they work and they are cheap.

    • Stephen November 25, 2022, 3:08 pm

      Glock has two main safeties, your trigger finger off the trigger, and most of all your brain.

    • Frank November 26, 2022, 6:36 am

      Just how many years have you served as an officer? If you’re relying on a mechanical safety to avoid a negligent discharge, you should get some more training. The ultimate safety is the trigger finger and brain that controls it. As to your comment about “cheap” guns, I never saw a glock leave the firing line with a catastrophic failure. I did see much more expensive pistols quit on the line. These would not function again without significant work at the armory.

  • Billy M November 25, 2022, 9:39 am

    Survivor50, i agree with you on the safety rules. As was drilled into us also,’keep your damn finger off the damn trigger till you damn sight are on the damn target and you are ready to shoot’ I do disagree with you dislike of Glocks. That is my EDC (in a proper holster). There is not problem with them as long as you are properly trained with them. There is a lot of info about this negligent discharge that is not in the story.

    • Michael Keim November 25, 2022, 4:41 pm

      The problem isn’t with the glock. The problem is with people that don’t keep their finger off the trigger until they’re ready to shoot

  • Linkpin November 25, 2022, 8:37 am

    Aside from the negligence described in the piece the writers poor use of the term “unintentional” implies that under certain circumstances in training situations “intent” may have possible. The term(s) “accidental” or “negligent discharge” would better describe what happened.

    • Pantexan November 25, 2022, 9:47 am

      He’s right, you know.

  • NormB November 25, 2022, 7:27 am

    “Unintentionally fired his gun.”

    SOMEone pulled the trigger. SOMEone pointed the gun at the student.

    This was NO “accident.” This was negligence.

    I hope the kid’s okay and the cop never wears a badge again.

    • BR549 November 25, 2022, 10:12 pm

      I have two comments here.
      1. The “Unintentionally fired his gun” part reminds me of the phrase “Dog ate my homework”; a perfect case of still trying to dodge the bullet of responsibility.

      2. Regarding those self-styled stealthy killing machines” who find it necessary to not have a safety on their weapon, if they can’t remember that they have a safety on during those initial seconds, shouldn’t we be concerned that maybe their situation assessment as well as their aim might be just as impacted during that same initial period?

      Let’s not forget the incident, decides ago, where seven officers fired 39 rounds in Times Square and not one one round hit the target.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment November 24, 2022, 4:23 am

    Pulled a Baldwin there…… You don’t practice safety 100% of the time you will screw-up eventually!

  • survivor50 November 23, 2022, 6:46 pm

    A. It was in INDIANA !

    B. The IDIOTANA Sheriffs Officers involved had LIVE AMMO in A SCHOOL Classroom !

    C. The IDIOTANA Sheriffs Officer had 19 years experience !

    D. The Superintendent and the Sheriffs dept couldn’t Identify the ” WEAPON ” … Revolver, service weapon…

    ( IT’S a freakin’ GLOCK 19… till proven otherwise… and not my first choice for ANYTHING !!! )

    As an NRA ” CHIEF Range Safety Officer ” … these guys broke ALL the RULES of SAFETY !!!

    NO LIVE AMMO IN ANY CLASSROOM !!!
    ALL GUNS ARE LOADED UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE !!!
    ALWAYS KEEP THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A ” SAFE ” DIRECTION !!!
    NEVER POINT A GUN AT ANYTHING YOU DON’T WANT TO DESTROY !!!

    I could go on for HOURS !!! And I do… IN CLASS !!!

Leave a Comment