Hartford Police are investigating one of their own after an off-duty sergeant fired his gun into a neighbor’s home and the bullet was found in a child’s bed.
The problem is the sergeant never reported the shooting.
In a Windsor Police report of the incident, Sgt. Eric Smith of the Hartford Police Department said his gun fired accidentally, but now neighbors and even Windsor Police are questioning why Smith never reported what could have been a deadly shot.
In the bedroom of a 12-year-old Windsor girl, there’s a hole in the wall, from a bullet.
It came from a gun fired by her next-door neighbor, a Hartford police sergeant.
It was fired sometime on or before Sept. 22, 2013, when the girl first noticed the hole and something on her bed, telling her father “she found what she thought was a capsule in her bed.”
But it was indeed a bullet.
Windsor Police soon arrived to investigate, tracing the shot next door, to the home of Hartford Sgt. Eric Smith.
The police report says Sgt. Smith fired the gun from inside his home.
The bullet went through his bedroom wall and into his neighbor’s home through the siding, eventually coming to rest on the girl’s bed.
Smith told Windsor Police he was unloading his off-duty handgun when he “accidentally fired the gun one time” and he “believed the bullet stayed inside the wall.”
But Smith never told his neighbors nor police what happened.
At least not until officers knocked on his door.
When Fox CT called Sgt. Smith Thursday night to ask about the incident he didn’t pick up the phone or call back.
In the Windsor Police incident report, an officers wrote, “I spoke with Hartford Police. … The situation would be addressed internally. … We would not be taking any action as long as they were addressing it.”
Windsor Police Cptn. Tom LePore, said the girl’s family did not want to press charges on Sgt. Smith.
“They were satisfied with his remorse, his apology. They felt it was a pure accident,” said LePore.
But Windsor Police apparently have questions of their own.
“I can’t actually understand why he didn’t report it to his agency, number one, or how he didn’t see that it penetrated his house. I mean those are all very good questions,” said LePore.
Longtime Village Lane resident and neighbor Sotir Dodi weighed in as well.
“It’s unacceptable. It’s awful and totally unacceptable. Especially for a police officer, a person who should enforce the law,” he said.
This isn’t Smith’s first time under scrutiny.
In 2000, he was suspended following sexual assault charges that were later dropped.
This time around, Hartford Police say Smith hasn’t been disciplined yet, but could be, pending the outcome of their internal affairs investigation.
“I hope that the Hartford Police Department applies the law and that they see to a proper investigation, see what is his guilt and punish him appropriately,” said Dodi.
Hartford Police didn’t say when their internal affairs investigation will be complete.
Meanwhile, Sgt. Smith remains on duty.