Accidental shot probe complete

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— A shot fired from a Colorado State trooper's service weapon in August has been ruled an accident.
Following an investigation that examined the shot fired Aug. 6 between trooper Marty Smith's vehicle and a vehicle carrying five teen-agers, "corrective measures have been taken," said Capt. Gary Torgerson, Smith's commander.
The discharge of Smith's .40-caliber Smith and Wesson has been classified as an accidental shot, Torgerson said.
"It was an accident. A complete accident," he said. "But every one of our officers is responsible for their firearm. Every one of them is responsible for each round that is fired. It was his responsibility."
Because it is a personnel issue, Torgerson said he could not elaborate what corrective measures were taken.
"I can't discuss it," he said. "The investigation was finished this week. Everything has been resolved at this time."
Smith reportedly discharged his gun while attempting to stop five teen-agers who were running from a car he stopped.
Smith stopped the vehicle on suspicion that the teen-agers were trespassing on private land outside of Craig. The teens were eventually caught and later released.
He reportedly told his supervisors he had tripped and fallen when approaching the car.
As he was getting up, he drew his gun and banged it against his patrol vehicle. The gun discharged, but no one was injured by the bullet.
"He has been an outstanding officer," Torgerson said of Smith, a 14-year veteran. "Accidents do happen. It could have happened to any of us, but that does not relieve him of his responsibility."

To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail gsalazar@amigo.net

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