Sansom Park policeman shot dead during active shooter training exercise

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FOREST HILL — A Sansom Park police officer is in critical condition after being shot during an active-fire training exercise at David K. Sellars Elementary School, authorities say.

Forest Hill Police Department hosted the session, which was led by a third-party trainer.

At around 2:12 p.m., the officer was shot in a “practice accident,” said Craig Spencer, Everman Police Chief and acting public information officer for the incident.

The officer was taken to hospital and authorities have not identified her.

At a Saturday night press conference, Spencer said the officer was in “critical but stable condition” and that his doctors had been positive in their updates.

He said that after being injured, she was immediately taken care of by other training participants.

Spencer called the situation tragic and said “the last thing we want to do is hurt anyone, let alone hurt any of our colleagues or any of our colleagues”.

When asked who shot the officer, Spencer did not give details but said only law enforcement was inside the school at the time of the shooting. He said he had no further information on the shooter, including whether he had been furloughed.

At the press conference, Stephanie Boardingham, Mayor of Forest Hill, asked for prayers and condolences for the officer who was shot, the officer’s family and the officers who attended the training.

Spencer said live ammunition was not intended to be part of the day’s training.

“How a weapon was introduced, we don’t know,” he said at the press conference.

Spencer said the contractor provided the training supplies, however, it was “not live-fire training” and there is no reason to suspect a criminal element. He also said it’s not uncommon to use third-party contractors for training.

The Sansom Park Police Department was one of the agencies participating in the training, although the exact number of other agencies involved was not immediately available.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are investigating the situation and are at the scene, Spencer said.

“We just ask that everyone keep the officer who is in the hospital in their prayers and obviously the officers who are affected here in their prayers as well,” Spencer said.

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Richard V. Johnson