This afternoon, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco conducted a media conference to discuss the findings of the investigation of the school resource officer (SRO) whose weapon was fired in the cafeteria of Weightman Middle School in Wesley Chapel on April 30, 2019.
Shortly after the initial incident, the Sheriff’s Office stated that, “preliminary information indicates that the SRO assigned to Weightman Middle School was in the cafeteria, leaning against the wall when his holstered, duty-issued firearm incidentally discharged into the wall behind him.”
The firearm in question was a Sig Sauer 9mm P320. Sig Sauer initially stated the following
“…It is our understanding that this was a negligent discharge, rather than an accidental discharge as some media outlets have reported.”
On April 30, 2019, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office promised a sense of urgency with this investigation. This sense of urgency was defined by the PCSO in terms of hours, a couple days, or maybe a week.
After a nearly six month long investigation, Sheriff Nocco announced the termination of the deputy involved, Jonathan Cross (working to confirm spelling). Nocco stated the investigation took so long to make sure they came to the correct conclusion.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office and FDLE reported there nothing was wrong with the firearm. Investigators determined that the deputy, according to at least one student, frequently fidgeted with the weapon.
Sheriff Chris Nocco discussing the findings of the investigation of the SRO whose weapon went off in the cafeteria of Weightman Middle School on April 30 of this year. https://t.co/rPHMKvedvg— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) October 16, 2019
Video was reviewed from a security camera that showed the deputy pulling the firearm in and out of the holster at the time.
He was terminated for conduct unbecoming and for use and mishandling of the firearm.
The deputy remained on administrative leaving during the investigation. The State Attorney’s Office recommended no criminal charges but rather administrative action by PCSO.
IONTB has reached out to Samantha Piatt at Sig Sauer for a statement regarding today’s development. We await their response.