UPDATE: Gun discharge incident investigated at University of Charleston pool
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The University of Charleston and the Huntington Charleston Aquatic Team (HYCAT) are assessing security measures after an incident involving a firearm at the pool Friday evening.
About 6:30 p.m. Friday, there was an accidental discharge of a handgun on the pool deck.
According to Dave Traube, the communications director for the university, the incident happened during a youth swim team practice.
Traube says the man who had the gun was a guardian of one of the kids. He says the gun was not holstered and was in the man's pocket.
Law enforcement and UC security secured the scene and took the weapon.
Even though the incident is believed to be an accident, Traube says the university is taking it very seriously.
"We really care about the safety of everybody on our campus, whether that be a student, a faculty member, a parent or somebody just visiting," said Traube. "We don't want anybody to feel in danger at any point."
Nobody was injured. The bullet went into the ground and ricocheted off the tile. However, Traube says the university has a zero tolerance policy for guns on campus.
"Thankfully, nobody got injured," said Traube, "By the grace of God, everything worked out OK. Just that fact that the person had the gun in their pocket is against our policy. So the fact that it was an accidental discharge doesn't really matter. Just the fact that somebody had a gun and it went off, we take that very seriously."
Following the incident, Traube wants to remind people, especially outside groups that use the university's facilities, that the University of Charleston is on private property and the no-gun policy should always be followed. He also reiterated that the university has security working 24/7 to keep the campus safe and that an officer responded to the incident quickly.
The man who had the gun is now banned from campus, according to Traube.
Sgt. Cooper with the Charleston Police Department tells WSAZ the man turned himself in Saturday morning. He was charged with discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a school which is a misdemeanor.