Stoneman Douglas Teacher Gets Arrested For Leaving Loaded Gun in Bathroom Stall

Elias Hubbard
April 13, 2018

A teacher at the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 students and teachers were shot to death was arrested for allegedly leaving a loaded gun in a public bathroom.

According to a Broward County Sheriff's report, Sean Simpson removed his 9mm Glock pistol while using the bathroom at the Deerfield Beach Pier on Sunday and forgot it in the stall when he left to wash his hands. While going back to retrieve it, he heard a gunshot and once back inside the bathroom, saw 69-year-old Joseph Spataro holding the gun.

Simpson was charged with unsafe storage of a firearm because the gun could have been found by a child at the public beach. They found the loaded weapon in Simpson's pocket along with several rounds of ammunition, as well as a projectile lodged in the wall and a shell casing in the corner of the room. Police said Simpson was eventually able to wrestle the gun away from the man, who was later charged with firing a weapon while intoxicated and trespassing.

"There was a reasonable likelihood that the firearm could have ended up in the hands of a child or the discharge of the firearm could have wounded another person or child", an arrest affidavit stated. Authorities showed up to the area shortly after that and arrested the man and Mr. Simpson, who was released after paying a $250 cash bail bond.

In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Simpson said he'd be willing to carry a gun while working at the school, according to the Miami Herald.

When asked about the prospect raised by President Donald Trump of arming teachers, Simpson seemed open to the idea.

On Tuesday, the Broward School Board voted unanimously to reject a plan to arm staff at the district's schools, including at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, under a $67 million program recently approved by the Florida Legislature to train and arm school staff members statewide.

Simpson told Local 10 he believed carrying a weapon did not violate the school board's rules. He continues to teach at Stoneman Douglas and a Broward County School Board spokeswoman said the district is not expected to take any professional action against him in the case.

"I know there are some of us that are willing to take the training if it was offered and probably be another line of defence", he said in an interview with MSNBC.

Florida lawmakers meant to allow teachers and other in-classroom employees to participate as well, but the program was scaled back amid objections from Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivors.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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