Sheriff's deputy hit by gunshot at training

Department calls episode an accident

August 23, 2006|By MARY GAIL HARE | MARY GAIL HARE,SUN REPORTER

A 39-year-old Harford County sheriff's deputy was injured yesterday in what police are calling an accidental shooting that occurred during a training exercise at the Broad Creek Boy Scout Reservation in the northern area of the county.

Sgt. Douglas J. Reppar, an 11-year veteran of the department and a former Marine, was shot once in the left elbow about 11:30 a.m. during training for the special-response team. A single shot from a 40-caliber weapon shattered his forearm.

"There is nothing to indicate that this is anything other than an accident," said Robert B. Thomas Jr., spokesman for the sheriff's department.

Though he declined to say who fired the weapon, Thomas said, "The injury does not appear to be self-inflicted."

"There's no indication of criminal intent, criminal design or malicious act on the part of another deputy," Thomas said.

After emergency personnel from the Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company treated Reppar at the scene, he was taken Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was to undergo surgery, Thomas said.

The incident occurred in a pavilion on the camp grounds while Reppar and several other team members were taking a break. No other deputies were injured. Thomas declined to say how many deputies were present and would not comment on what type of activities the training entailed.

Reppar, a firearms instructor who was promoted to sergeant this year, is assigned to the Southern Precinct in Edgewood.

Sheriff R. Thomas Golding has ordered two units within the department to conduct separate investigations into the shooting.

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