Security guard cleaning gun discharges round inside Delaware County government building

A private security guard accidentally fired his gun at the Rutherford B. Hayes building in Delaware County earlier this month, startling some of the residents and launching an investigation.

According to an incident report from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, guard James Roberts was cleaning his service pistol when it was fired at approximately 10:40 a.m. on October 6 at the security office in the lobby of the county’s Rutherford B. Hayes Building. The building at 117 North Union St. houses many county offices, including the district attorney, treasurer, clerk, juvenile court, and labor and family services.

According to the report, the bullet from Roberts’ 9mm weapon penetrated the office wall and hit a recessed light fixture in the ceiling of the building’s lobby.

No one was injured, but unnamed witnesses reported that the shock of the impact could be heard and felt by staff on the floor directly above.

An employee of one of the county offices entered the front entrance of the Hayes building at the time and reacted when parts of the light fixture fell from the ceiling, video collected by investigators showed.

Roberts, who works for Trident Security LLC, a longtime contractor for the county, told investigators he was cleaning his gun in the security office outside the front entrance of the Hayes Building when he “noticed the gun was cocked and pulled the trigger to see.” whether there was a cartridge in the chamber.”

A deputy sheriff investigating the incident was asked in the report for recommendations or actions to prevent a similar incident, writing “ensure all firearms are discharged before cleaning” and “do not clean firearms in the office.”

Delaware County Commissioners oversee the security of Government House and Trident’s contract. Barb Lewis, President of the Board of Commissions, and Sheriff Russell Martin did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.

Jane Hawes, spokeswoman for the commissioners, said in a written statement that there is an active investigation by the sheriff’s office and that Trident is still under contract to provide security for the Hayes Building and other county buildings.

It was not clear if Roberts was disciplined or fired over the incident as the county determined his employment is at Trident, which could not be reached for comment.

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@Dean Narciso

This article originally appeared in The Columbus Dispatch: Private Security Guard shoots into ceiling of Delaware County building

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