An off-duty FBI agent who, authorities say, accidentally shot someone after his gun flew from his holster as he was doing a back flip inside a Denver bar has been charged with second-degree assault.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office said Chase Bishop, 29, turned himself in Tuesday and was charged with the Class 4 felony, punishable by two to six years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. The Denver Sheriff’s Department inmate database shows that Bishop has been booked in the Downtown Detention Center. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.
The investigation of Bishop was over an incident that took place a little more than a week ago inside a bar near downtown Denver. A 32-second video obtained by ABC affiliate KMGH shows the agent in the middle of the dance floor surrounded by patrons, some of whom can be seen with their phones out. He jumps up, arching his back and swinging his arms above his head. As he is about to land his back flip, his gun flies out from the holster at the back of his pants.
As he picks up the gun from the floor, it fires.
Police said a patron was struck in the lower leg and taken to a hospital. The incident happened about 12:45 a.m. on June 2 at the Mile High Spirits bar. The agent was taken to police headquarters and later released to a supervisor with the FBI.
Additional charges may be filed depending on the blood alcohol content, or BAC, test results, which would not be available for another week, the district attorney’s office said.
Authorities have not said what kind of gun the agent was carrying or why it accidentally fired.
Special Agent Amy Sanders, a spokeswoman for the FBI field office in Denver, declined to comment on Bishop’s employment status with the agency.
“In order to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment regarding this matter,” she said in statement. “The FBI will continue to fully cooperate with the Denver Police Department and the Denver District Attorney’s Office as this matter proceeds through the judicial process.”
The man who was shot, Tom Reddington, told “Good Morning America” last week that he and his friends were sitting at one of the tables when he heard “a loud bang” that he thought was a firecracker.
“Then I looked at my leg and see some brown residue. … I’m still thinking it’s a firework. … All of a sudden, from the knee down my leg became completely red,” Reddington, 24, said. “And that’s when it clicked in my head, ‘Oh, I’ve been shot.’ ”
In a statement posted on Facebook two days after the incident, Mile High Spirits bar said one of its “innocent patrons was shot” because of the agent’s “misconduct.”
“It is shocking that the only shooting to ever occur at our establishment came about as a result of an FBI agent entering our distillery tasting room carrying a loaded firearm without our knowledge, in violation of our rules,” the bar said, adding: “We are deeply saddened by the events that occurred and look forward to speaking with representatives of the FBI, so we can come to understand his presence and his need to be armed in our establishment.”
The Law Enforcement Safety Act allows current and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons not only in their jurisdictions, but also in all states and territories. The law, however, does not overrule state statutes that allow owners of private properties, such as bars, clubs and amusement parks, to prohibit concealed weapons. It also does not supersede state laws that prohibit concealed weapons on government properties, such as courthouses, schools and parks.