SRO on leave, Sheriff’s Office puzzled over weapon discharge at York Co. school

Posted August 26, 2013 12:03 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris (left), Undersheriff Maj. Robbie Hudgins (right)

For the second time in two years, a service pistol assigned to a York County Sheriff’s Deputy has mistakenly discharged.

This time it was on the grounds of York Comprehensive High School on Alexander Love Highway in York Monday morning.

At approximately 7:30 a.m., the York County Sheriff’s Office said the Glock 22 pistol assigned to Deputy Dave Prescott “accidentally discharged” outside the school.

The gun, holstered in Prescott’s duty belt, fired a single 40 caliber round into a sidewalk.

Approximately 20 students were in the area at the time, but no one was injured.

At a press conference Monday, Undersheriff Maj. Robbie Hudgins called the incident puzzling.

“It’s an abnormal event that we intend to find the answers to — how it occurred and why it occurred,” Hudgins said.

Prescott, a former member of the York County SWAT Team, is a School Resource Officer at York Comprehensive High School. He has held that position for the last eight years, York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris said.

“The weapon was in Deputy Prescott’s holster when it discharged,” Faris said. “Prescott is a decorated deputy.”

In July 2012, Prescott and another off-duty deputy were credited with saving the life of 44-year-old Deborah Lunberg. The two were eating lunch at T-Bones on Lake Wylie when they saw Lunberg’s blue car careen through trees and into Lake Wylie.

At Monday’s press conference, Faris declined to answer questions surrounding the holster Prescott was using. Typically, law enforcement officers in South Carolina use Level III  or IV holsters, that include a trigger guard that protects their weapons from most types of accidental discharge.

For now, Prescott remains on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Security footage of the incident is on file, but was not released for public view on Monday.

WRHI has since filed a request under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act to obtain that footage.

In April 2012, a similar discharge of a county-issued weapon occurred inside a Sheriff’s Office satellite district facility in Fort Mill. In that incident, a veteran deputy said he was training a younger deputy a technique known as “dry firing.”

Like the incident Monday at York Comprehensive High School, no one was injured.

“We are thankful that no student…of this accidental discharge was hurt,” Hudgins said. “God was truly watching over the students and our deputy.”