Phoenix officer hurt in accidental shooting, police say

A Phoenix Police officer was hurt in an accidental shooting on Monday, the department said.

The shooting happened at around 9:30 a.m. on July 1 in the back parking lot of the department's South Mountain Precinct, located near 7th and Southern Avenues.

The officer was hospitalized with a non-life-threatening injury.

"As in all circumstances similar to this, an internal investigation has begun and is ongoing," police said.

Not the only accidental shooting lately

Three separate accidental shootings over the last month have happened across the Valley, and all of them involved first responders.

One of them claimed the life of Scottsdale Police Det. Ryan So.

Dr. Jeffeory Hynes says preventing these incidents all comes down to education and repetition. He stressed the importance of law enforcement and civilians training regularly.

"You hear this all the time. The gun just went off. No, it didn't," he said. "It went off because your finger is on the trigger."

Dr. Hynes spent 32 years with the Phoenix Police Department, retired as a commander, and now focuses on education.

"That spontaneous reflex action is going to cause the gun to go off because you just pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, that does happen. It happens in the civilian world. It happens in law enforcement," he said.

Over the last month, three separate accidental shootings have involved first responders in the Valley.

On June 13, Scottsdale Police Det. Ryan So was killed. The department says So was accidentally shot by a rifle that fell out of a bag.

On June 22, a Phoenix firefighter accidentally shot himself in the leg with his own gun while at a fire station.

In the latest case, a Phoenix Police officer was in the back parking lot of the department's South Mountain precinct when a gun went off.

These kinds of shootings can be prevented, Dr. Hynes said.

"Training prevents that 99.9% of the time, but we still see it. Always pick up a gun and believe that it's loaded. Never point at anything that you're not willing to shoot," he said.

Dr. Hynes says it’s the responsibility of the person taking the gun into their hand to make sure it is cleared and safe.

"You've got to clear yourself, and you've got to believe that every weapon that's been handed to you is ready to go, that it's armed," he said. "You're going to pull the magazine, and you're going to clear the weapon. Now you can see that the gun is safe. If you don't do that, that's where accidental discharges happen."

Dr. Hynes says gifting a gun to someone who is not trained is irresponsible and negligent, and recommends including a training course. He says members of law enforcement are required to take quarterly training courses.

FOX 10 asked the Phoenix Fire Department why the firefighter in the June 22 incident was armed and if that was against department policy. It has not answered those questions.

Map of where the shooting happened: