Hartford Firefighter Faces Judge After Gun Stash Uncovered

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HARTFORD — A lieutenant with the Hartford Fire Department was arrested on Tuesday and charged with 29 counts of risk of injury to a minor after officers found unsecured firearms in a 7-year-old’s room, police said.

Michael Paterson, 43, was also charged with breach of peace and threatening, said Lt. Brian Foley, commander of the Major Crimes division.

Police responded to Paterson’s home on Canaan Street on Tuesday morning for a reported domestic incident, police said. Paterson was not at the residence when officers arrived but returned home later and was taken into custody, police said.

The officers learned that Paterson had several guns registered in his name. Paterson took the officers into a bedroom where 26 firearms were found unsecured, most lying on a 7-year-old’s bed, police said. A large amount of ammunition was also found in the room.

Three other firearms were found in a gun safe in the basement, police said. Detectives are still trying to account for other firearms registered to Paterson at addresses in Hartford, Bloomfield and South Carolina, Foley said.

Paterson has been cooperating with the investigation, Foley said.

Paterson has been placed on administrative leave from the fire department pending an investigation, said department Capt. James McLoughlin. He has been a member of the Hartford Fire Department since 1997, McLoughlin said.

Text by Kelly Glista, Hartford Courant; video by Mike Magnoli, Fox CT

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