Russell T. Kleber, Chief of Police
280 Exchange St.
Athol, MA 01331
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Investigation Concludes in Athol Police Training Incident
ATHOL — Police Chief Russell T. Kleber reports that the investigation into a police training incident that occurred on May 30 that resulted in a gunshot wound to a civilian has been completed.
The investigation, conducted by State Police Detectives assigned to Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office, determined that the incident was an accident. No criminal charges will be filed in the incident.
During a May 30 firearms training session, which involved live firearms, a civilian observer was accidentally shot in the upper rear leg area. The victim was taken to an area hospital and is recovering at home.
As a result of this incident, Chief Kleber has done the following:
- Suspended in-house firearms training pending a thorough internal investigation into the cause of the incident
- Begun a review of all departmental training policies and policies regarding observation of training sessions
- Reached out to former colleagues at the FBI’s Boston Field Office and Boston firearms unit to conduct re-training of all officers involved in the May 30 incident
“While I am pleased that the independent investigation by the State Police attached to the Franklin County District Attorney’s office is closed, I want to assure the members of the Department and the citizens of Athol that we have initiated a complete review of policies, procedures and equipment associated with firearms training to ensure the safety of all,” Chief Kleber said.