First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett said he asked fellow prosecutor Landon Ramsay if he could see Ramsay’s new Glock .40-caliber pistol about 2 p.m. Monday.It's hard for anybody above a certain age to read this story and not think of The Andy Griffith Show's Barney Fife (played brilliantly by the late Don Knotts), who famously was so inept and accident-prone with his firearm that the sheriff would only allow him to carry a single bullet and required him to keep it in his shirt pocket. At least, though, when Fife's weapon famously discharged in the office, he only shot up the floor. Reyna, who normally does not speak to the local newspaper, limiting constituent communications to his Facebook page (which presently doesn't mention the episode), told the Trib's Tommy Witherspoon, “I am thankful that no one was hurt, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am extremely angry about it, and I will deal with it accordingly by disciplinary action or by implementation of policy, or both.”
Jarrett said he asked Ramsay if the gun was loaded and was told it was not. Jarrett pulled back the slide, he said, to double-check if it was loaded and didn’t see a bullet slide into the chamber.
He aimed the gun at a window in Ramsay’s office and pulled the trigger. The bullet shattered the window and struck the brick exterior of the adjacent vacant downtown county jail, Jarrett and McLennan County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Cawthon said.
No one was injured, which Jarrett said was because he was careful to point the pistol out the window at a brick wall.
“I was being extremely safe,” Jarrett said. “I inspected the gun even after I was told it was not loaded, but it was just an unfortunate accident.”
Apparently shooting a gun in the office at the McLennan DA isn't a firing offense. Hard to believe prosecutors need a "policy" to know not to fire a gun in the office, but if you're going to implement one perhaps it should be the Barney-Fife rule: One bullet apiece, boys, and keep it in your pocket.
MORE: A commenter ("Aunt Bee") pointed out that in municipalities with more than 100,000 population, it's a Class A misdemeanor to fire a handgun within the city limits. Waco's population topped 124K in the 2010 Census. Anyone wanna guess whether the First Assistant DA will be prosecuted under that statute?