On Wednesday, authorities said an off-duty California police officer shot himself in the hand while cleaning his gun. The bullet also killed another man.
According to the Salinas Police Department, 22-year-old Francisco Villicana with the Santa Cruz Police Department, was cleaning his own gun when it went off at 5:45 on Friday.
Villicana shot himself in the hand. The bullet also hit another man, 20-year-old Luis Alfredo Ferro-Sanchez in the upper torso. Ferro-Sanchez was taken to the hospital, where he later passed away.
The Santa Cruz Police Department released a statement stating, “While handling the firearm, he accidentally discharged a single round striking himself in the hand. The bullet continued, striking Ferro-Sanchez in the torso.”
The connection between Villicana and Ferro-Sanchez was not disclosed by the authorities. Although the incident was likely an accident, the case will be forwarded to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office by the investigators.
According to authorities, Villicana, who joined the Santa Cruz Police Department in February 2022 was the one who reported the incident to the police. He is now on leave while the case is being investigated.
Santa Cruz Police Chief Bernie Escalante said, “Words cannot explain the grief we feel for the family and friends of Mr. Ferro-Sanchez.”
“We will help them in every way we can,” he added.
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