Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MBI: Shooting death of Gorman was accidental.

A Mississippi Bureau of Investigation report concluded that the death of Gaming Commission Director of Investigations John Gorman was accidental.  Gorman was killed when MGC Special Agent Robert Sharp shot him in the chest with a loaded Glock during a training exercise.  The report (posted below) stated:


 MGC Special Agent Robert "Bob" Sharp (NRA Certified Firearms Instructor) shot and killed John Gorman (Miss. Gaming Commission - Director of Investigations} as Gorman played the role of an aggressor with a replica knife (Dummy Non-Lethal} during a simulated firearms training exercise (e.g. Threat, Shooting and Movement  Training} on said date, time and location...
I have thoroughly reviewed the evidence and relevant material related to the above­ mentioned deadly shooting on said date, time and location. I have with the same intensity reviewed the applicable law concerning the death of Gorman. To this end, I have concluded with the highest degree of certainty that Special Agent Robert Sharp (Miss. Gaming Commission) caused the death of John Gorman by shooting Gorman one time in his chest with his duty weapon - a black, Glock 23 Gen. 4, Austria .40 bearing serial number: VVZ372.

Nevertheless, I found no evidence that Sharp did feloniously, willfully and unlawfully with deliberate design to cause the death of Gorman or that Sharp did feloniously, willfully and unlawfully kill Gorman without malice and in the heat of passion. Therefore, it is with reasonable certainty that Special Agent Robert Sharp "ACCIDENTALLY" shot andkilled John Gorman during the simulated firearms training exercise at the Gaming Commission Building -  Tunica  Office.

NOTE: My findings " SHALL NOT" be misconstrued in any form that Robert Sharp was not Negligent" in the discharge of his firearm that resulted in the death of Gorman. I found Sharp to be Extremely Negligent" in the discharge of his duty firearm....

 At approximately 0845 hours, instructors Robert Sharp, John Gorman, Benjamin Harper, Ameshia Gross, and William England conducted Threat, Shooting and Movement Training (TSM-T) at the rear (outside) of their MGC's Tunica Office with Certified Law Enforcement Agents assigned to the Enforcement and Criminal Investigations Divisions (Miss. Gaming Commission). The objective of the simulate firearms training was to evaluate the agents' response when confronted by an aggressive threat from seven (7) yards or less while conducting an interview. The scenario called for agents to be armed with a Glock Training....

The firearms instructors provided a safety briefing and instructed all agents to leave their duty weapons and ammunition inside the building. All agents except three firearms instructors (Robert Sharp, John Gorman and Benjamin Harper) left their duty weapons and ammunition inside prior to their exit of the building....

 At approximately 0915 hours, Tunica County Sheriff's Department received a 911 Call from an unknown person inside the Mississippi Gaming Commission Building requesting medical assistance for Gorman at said location. The 911 Dispatcher immediately dispatched EMS and numerous deputies to the MGC building. Deputies arrived and secured the scene; and EMS personnel arrived and provided life support to Gorman. In addition, Air Evac (helicopter) arrived and assisted with life support to Gorman....

EMS/ AirEvac personnel worked extremely hard to maintain Gorman's primary vital signs in preparation for an emergency flight to the MED in Memphis, TN. Nevertheless, German's condition rapidly deteriorated and he later succumbed to the single gunshot wound to his chest. As a result, medical personnel through the advice of a medical doctor via telephone pronounced Gorman dead on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at approximately 1027 hours....

The rest of the report is posted below. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety refused to provide a copy of this report when a public records request was filed.  DPS claimed this report was the work product of its attorneys.  Earlier post.

Kingfish note: There is another name for this "accidental" shooting: manslaughter.  

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Best for the Gaming Commission to be an accident.

I would want toxicology screening on the shooter as this doesn't make
sense.

Anonymous said...

Accidental death doesn't mean there is not responsibility. All this means is it was not premeditated murder.

Anonymous said...

I agree KF: gross negligence manslaughter. The Tunica County DA should present this to the Grand Jury asap.

Anonymous said...

The Great State of Mississippi is trying to get around paying the family of Agent Gorman for damages. Who ever heard of a firearms instructor carrying a loaded weapon during a training exercise. What about doing the right thing and taking care of the man's family.

Anonymous said...

Yes KF, there is another name for this. You say the other name is 'manslaughter'. And that msy be correct. Another possible name for this is 'tragic accident'. Glad you have God's eye and can determine based on reading the report and with no bias in your eyes.

Anonymous said...

They conducted the training behind a strip center where the gaming commission is located. Had the stray bullet missed Gorman and hit the guy that owned the nail salon next door instead (hypothetical scenario) would there still be no accountability required?

Anonymous said...

There are two basic and accepted definitions of an accident:

1. An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

2. An event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.

Looking at the report, it is riddled with confirmation bias and opinion. I think a few other items are necessary to complete a comprehensive examination of this incident: 1. the internal gaming commission report; 2. the raw documents (witness statements, etc.) and 3. the gaming commission's safety procedures.

Also, was the gaming commission's internal report available at the time of the grand jury investigation? Did the DA's Investigator do an independent review to note any gaps, unanswered questions or inconsistencies between the two reports?

While most certainly a tragedy, Gorman's death was no accident, it could have been predicted based on the fact that there were live weapons introduced into a training environment. The gaming commission's lax attitude toward training standards and safety contributed to Gorman's death and Sharp's inexcusable negligence directly caused Gorman's death...there is no other way to see it.

This case needs to be re-opened and investigated by an independent body.

Anonymous said...

10:33 is spot on.

Anonymous said...

Utter horse hockey. A negligent discharge (I know, that's "addressed") is not an accident, period. This mouth breather took his weapon, pointed it at the victim, and pulled the trigger. He is either too stupid to be issued a weapon, much less teach a class; or it was intentional.

How many of you, if you had a couple of beers and then drove a car and collided with another wouldn't be in hot water? You didn't mean to. The law wouldn't care. This highly trained law enforcement professional broke every safety rule that should have been second nature and killed another man. Proper firearm discipline is done such that were one to ignore one or two rules, chances are everything would still be okay. This guy ignored all of them and took a life.

I know he won't do any time, but if there is any justice, this guy should never even be allowed to be in the same room with, much less handle, and NEVER own another firearm so long as he lives.

Anonymous said...

It's not "tragic accident" when a FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR carries a loaded sidearm into a training session and shoots a participant in the chest. It is gross negligence, at best. This man should lose his job.

Anonymous said...

10:54, this is not an accident. An accident is when one slips on the ice and falls. When one removes a service weapon from its holster, points it at another, pulls the trigger, and destroys the target either because of ignorance of the weapon's condition or whatever other reason...it's negligence.

Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner said...

The State of Mississippi SHOULD stand up and pay beyond dearly to the Gorman family for this tragic "accidental death". One man is given a "non-lethal rubbery plastic knife" and the others are instructed to leave their REAL guns inside the building (which 3 of them didn't) and have ONE "non firing RED in color Glock training pistol that had the chamber cleared and the clip removed" available for a trainee. So am I wrong to assume the "non firing RED in color Glock training pistol" is fully usable once loaded? That's insane. IF they took the effort to obtain a "non lethal rubbery plastic knife" then the LEAST they could have done was to obtain a handful of RED plastic squirt guns with the fill plugs removed and a dime sized hole drilled in the bottom of the handle. But that makes too much damn sense.

For The Religious Loon.. said...

10:54 seems a bit pious. I don't see any judgment in Kingfish's comments. The legal definition of manslaughter is apparently present in this case. One doesn't need 'the eye of God' in order to understand a simple definition.

Accidental is the opposite of planned and intended. Although the death was accidental, there was still culpable negligence.

If you, 10:54, knew you should have bolted down the blade on your lawnmower (and in fact you were a lawnmower repairman) and you didn't do that and during operation it came loose and killed a child next door, you would be similarly accountable.

You can forget God's judgement or eye in this entire scenario.

Anonymous said...

except, mississippi's excusable homicide specifically outlines the circumstances in which an accidental shooting is excusable. i know it's fun to be provocative and editorialize, but at least read a damn statute.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the gaming commission's internal report, and their safety protocols; as well as the review conducted by the DA be available too? KF - are you going to pursue those?

Anonymous said...

This case has been presented to the Grand Jury in Tunica County with no indictment by the Investgator Peter Clinton, the same man/investigator that was fired by MBI for wrongful, slanted, opinionated, crooked reports/investigations in 2016. There are so many holes in this investigation report and so many things not documented or fully investigated. MBI should be imbarrased by this report. This investigation needs to be re-opened and shame on Brenda Mitchel, DA in Tunica County, for not having this investigated further before it was presented to the Grand Jury. Very sloppy job MBI. This family needs to be given answers and Robert Sharp needs to be held accountable. What firearms instructor with this much experience does something as careless and stupid as this?! The fact that it was made public one day prior to death that Gorman was to be promoted to Director of Investigation mean while the internal at MS Gaming Commission knew they had selected him two weeks prior to it being announced. Gorman was by the book, did it concern someone out there in the Gaming business that Gorman would not be the one to overlook crooked activity?! Never Investigated.

Anonymous said...

Keep digging!

Anonymous said...

Who in hell proofed this report? Read the bottom of page 8 - this dipshit MBI agent can't even get the names straight, is this the best we have?? I can understand if this was a report related to some nonsense crime (theft, etc.), but this is a DEATH INVESTIGATION OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER - the least he could do is get the basic facts straight. ZERO CONFIDENCE in this report. And Gorman's right hand was bagged at 1300 hours and his left hand at 1132 hours (are these times correct?). And what's with all the capitalized writing and shit in "quotations?" This is amateur hour and this case needs to be re-investigated.

And where are the attachments and enclosures?

Anonymous said...

When was the case turned over to the DA investigator, and did he have any time do any work on this case - isn't that usually how the process works?

Anonymous said...

Where in all this bullshit investigation are the comments to the investigators from the man who fired the gun?

Anonymous said...

one forever dead, one forever carrying the mark of Cain for killing someone at work and others lucky to not be the one dead. I am guessing they were all armed.
violation of the 3 NRA and 4 Col Copper safe gun handling rules, no instructor or MS IE permit holder has an excuse not to follow these rules.
Guess the root cause is that the poor state MS did not provide a SIRT pistol for knife vs gun combat training?
Many SIRT guns are in use b instructors in MS.

Anonymous said...

When a trained law enforcement officer draws and points a loaded gun at another human, I expect some explanation as to why that would happen.
How could this be anything other than negligence?
Can someone give me a set of circumstances where that would be the case?

Anonymous said...

negligence has four elements:

1. a duty to act with reasonable care;

2. breach of the duty;

3. that proximately causes;

4. damages to the victim.

gross negligence, or culpable negligence, is an outrageous breach of duty. the classic example is drunken driving that injures or kills another.

I went through weapons training done by a police department [as an ADA]. Safety was the main topic. We weren't allowed to even open the firearms containers for the first hour. The instructor told us to never point and aim the weapon unless prepared to fire it, and if you fire it, you are shooting to KILL. Not in my minimal training, but I'm pretty sure that in the training sessions outlined in that report, a wooden, obvious, facsimile is used by the instructor.

This is a clear case of culpable negligence manslaughter.

Anonymous said...

4:23 Yes, dummy guns and knifes were provided. Everyone removed their duty weapon except the lead instructor Robert Sharp before participating in the training scenario. Had he followed protocol and removed his live duty weapon this would have never happened. The questions remains, why did Robert Sharp make the choice to do that being that he has had many years of firearms training. Negligence or Premeditated?

Anonymous said...

6:31 - it appears that all of the elements of negligence have been met and intent is not one of them. The report fails to articulate that, and reading it as a layperson I'd be swayed by the narrative as flawed as it may be. Its pretty obvious that the investigation wasn't really an investigation, but rather a reinforcement of the investigator's views and opinions, the trooper who wrote it ought be ashamed of himself and the family has every right to question its validity and demand a new inquiry by a truly independent body, such as another state's investigative division (New Jersey State Police, etc.), or a private firm like Lexipol.

Anonymous said...

Wow! KF you should be extremely proud of the high number of professionals and experts on police training, policy, and criminal law you have on your page. Their knowledge base is phenomenal and their opinions should be highly valued.

Anonymous said...

Hey smartass at 5:52, it's called common sense. And yes there are plenty of folks who read this blog who have a lot of experience training law enforcement officers (I happen to be one of them). If you read this blog with any regularity you know I'm retired from the armed forces and a very large metropolitan police department out West with over 30 years of service. I'm not claiming to be Jason Bourne or a teams guy - just a guy who's seen his fair share of stuff.

kathleen cook said...

Thank you, KingFish (KF). Look at this KF. As a lawyer and a classmate of John Gorman, I would like to hear what you think of all this. I won't be an anonymous idiot. You can call me Kathleen.

kathleen cook said...

God Bless John and his family, and God bless the law.

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