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‘A wall in our apartment exploded:’ Holly Hill officer’s rifle accidentally discharges into neighbor’s apartment

Family was getting ready for the day

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – A bullet struck an apartment of a Holly Hill family getting ready for the day on Wednesday.

The bullet came from the rifle of an officer, according to a police report.

Police said around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday officers responded to the Charleston House Apartments in reference to a suspicious incident.

A renter told officers he believed someone shot into his apartment because of a large hole in the wall and the plaster and wood on the floor, according to police.

Investigators said there was a hole in the wall above a door frame in the northeast bedroom of the apartment.

Two kids were in the bedroom getting ready to go to school, according to the report.

“Yeah, my wife was home. She was up, she was getting our kids ready for school and then like a wall in our apartment exploded,” he told a dispatcher.

The dispatcher asked him why it took an hour to call authorities.

“She just told me. She had to get the kids up and to the school bus before it left and she just got back,” he said.

A Holly Hill officer lives above the apartment and he told police he was attempting to move a rifle, according to the incident report.

He told police he was walking with the rifle and must have had his finger inside the trigger guard, according to investigators.

Investigators said he told police he tripped on something and the rifle discharged.

Police said there aren’t criminal charges and the officer was off duty.

The officer is still on regular patrols, according to police.

The department will do a review of the situation, according to investigators.

He has been an officer with the department for four to five years.

Nicholas Smiley said his wife and two young children were getting dressed for the day when the shot was fired.

“My wife and kids were in this room getting ready, just feet away,” said Smiley. “We were pretty shocked at what happened. At first, I thought it had come from outside, but then looking at the hole, I realized it came from upstairs.”

Smiley said that he's thankful no one was hurt. He also said that the officer never checked in to make sure everyone was OK.

“That was kind of careless because if one of us was home alone if they got wounded, they could have bled out,” said Smiley.

Smiley added that he respects how the officer puts his life on the line every day and believes the incident was an accident.


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