Viroqua officer shoots self in leg

2013-04-29T13:16:00Z Viroqua officer shoots self in legBy Lee Newspapers La Crosse Tribune
April 29, 2013 1:16 pm  • 

Viroqua Assistant Police Chief Todd Simonson accidentally shot himself in the leg Friday while he was off duty in Richland Center, authorities said.

According to the Richland Center Police Department, Simonson was re-holstering his service weapon while seated in his personal vehicle when it discharged. The round inflicted a minor wound to Simonson’s left hand and then entered and exited his left thigh.

Simonson, 43, called authorities to report the incident about 11:40 a.m. from a parking lot on North Orange Street. He was taken to Richland Hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released the same day.

Simonson was in Richland Center for a personal appointment, Viroqua Police Chief Daron Jefson said.

The incident was investigated by Richland Center authorities.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(33) Comments

  1. 2old
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    2old - May 03, 2013 7:01 pm
    After reading all these comments and speculation let me add this to someone who knows. First of all off duty officers frequently carry guns and have stopped a number of would be serial killers in their tracks. This is such an important item that we have a federal law allowing off duty officers concealed carry status anywhere in the United States and no state may pass a law prohibiting it in one of the sections. Now to the naysayers, did any of you think that just maybe he left the gun in the car for his appointment and was reholstering it to go home? Yes, he probably was in a hurry and failed to do something he does many times a day as far as gun safety. So think before you comment, your life may be saved some day by an armed off duty police officer.
  2. anniem
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    anniem - May 03, 2013 7:15 am
    This is a stupid poem-no really, I would still disagree with you posting it, but i would recognize it was well done. You really missed the mark
  3. anniem
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    anniem - May 03, 2013 7:12 am
    A whole lot of glass houses down there in SE MN.
    Do you want his job? It’s a hard job, dealing with drunks, people fighting, bad car accidents, a hierarchy that is iron clad .Cops are never off duty, not really, would u like that?
    First-it had to hurt like heck Second, whatever happened to loyalty? He’s your cop, he has been hurt, where are the well wishes?
    What a cynical,petty, group you all are.(you know who is not included in this group) Perhaps he drew it because he suspected there was something going on?.And even if not, he just wanted to check something, move it,and the gun misfired. This stuff happens and you all are just twisting the knife in those wounds. I feel sorry for you all and glad i don’t live in the area.
    I know that officers are not perfect, they are people. They are held to a perfect standard however and under constant public scrutiny.How would u like that?
    Hey, when you need a cop, just call each other.See how that works for ya.
  4. oopsy daisy
    Report Abuse
    oopsy daisy - May 02, 2013 4:32 pm
    It seems like my comments always get taken down,poor poor opsy,well I will try lying as opposed to telling the truth and see how far that gets me. Vernon County law enforcement officers are the fairest of the fair honest to the core and really really smart. They do not drink and drive ,they do not cheat on a significant other, they are not perverted in any way shape or form,they would never consider anyone guilty until proven innocent. I love them and they love me .I feel so secure,like a big fuzzy blanket in my Grammys arms.
  5. Bruner
    Report Abuse
    Bruner - April 30, 2013 5:21 pm
    A bad thing happens to one man and so many have rushed to joy in his pain. This is America today. No one person is perfect. None of you. If any of you were caught doing what you did not want to be caught doing, I am quit sure you would not accept this kind of treatment just because of your JOB. Go ahead now and be the criticizer to me. I am not perfect and never will be, I am not a Police Office but, I respect them. I am a man and I take responsibility for every word I write or speak.
  6. Here comes the boom
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    Here comes the boom - April 30, 2013 11:57 am
    He can carry anywhere in the country legally. Also they should carry their work gun it is what they are most proficient with.
  7. afmom05
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    afmom05 - April 30, 2013 10:33 am
    Alot of questions. Why did he take his weapon out of the holster while in his vehicle? Why did he even have his weapon along on a personal appointment when he was off duty? I know the officer, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. The fact that the Broadcaster disabled comments shows that they know how alot of people feel about this officer.
  8. Loriaf
    Report Abuse
    Loriaf - April 30, 2013 12:39 am
    Why was he carrying his work gun when he was off duty?
  9. Loriaf
    Report Abuse
    Loriaf - April 30, 2013 12:38 am
    Why was he carrying his gun when he was off duty?
  10. Napoleon
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    Napoleon - April 29, 2013 9:54 pm
    Wrong. You've not been around guns very long, evidently.

    "As dirt and fouling accumulate in the firing pin channel, the pin may begin to protrude from the bolt face, and the risk of slamfire increases. If the firing pin is stuck forward the round will fire every time the bolt closes."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slamfire
  11. Napoleon
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    Napoleon - April 29, 2013 9:38 pm
    Actually, this happens quite a lot: stuck firing pins, incorrectly-seated primers, squibs, slamfires, gun not properly cleaned, armorer installed the wrong parts, sear filed down incorrectly by user or armorer (in revolvers)...so the point is quite valid. I've had a few slamfires myself over the decades.

    Read the gun mags or go to youtube:

    "As dirt and fouling accumulate in the firing pin channel, the pin may begin to protrude from the bolt face, and the risk of slamfire increases. If the firing pin is stuck forward the round will fire every time the bolt closes."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slamfire
  12. JRT
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    JRT - April 29, 2013 9:19 pm
    Did the guy suspected of OWI accidentally get drunk? Ohh and Jobaba.....glad to see you commeneted...Twice!......You should sleep extra well tonight little buddy
  13. kickapooviking
    Report Abuse
    kickapooviking - April 29, 2013 8:50 pm
    “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”


    ― Voltaire

    Worth re-posting....
  14. kickapooviking
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    kickapooviking - April 29, 2013 8:48 pm
    Why was he playing with his gun off duty and out of jurisdiction?
  15. kickapooviking
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    kickapooviking - April 29, 2013 8:47 pm
    Matt Johnson is a censor.
  16. Here comes the boom
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    Here comes the boom - April 29, 2013 7:25 pm
    Block the comments on the broadcaster site but you can still comment on the guy suspected of OWI
  17. lutefisk
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    lutefisk - April 29, 2013 7:22 pm
    In a jailhouse, down in Dixie, fightin' crime and riskin' life,
    Dwelled a sheriff and his buddy, pistol-packing Barney Fife.
    Oh, my darin', oh, my darnin' oh, my darin' Barney Fife.
    He's a deadly crime-stopper, what a copper Barney Fife.

    Then one day there come a-ridin' two bad men to rob a bank.
    But Fife was tricky, a dead-eye dickey. Now they're locked up in the tank.

    Oh, my Barney, oh, my Barney, had a jail and couldn't lock it.
    Had one bullet for his pistol, had to keep it in his pocket

  18. oz
    Report Abuse
    oz - April 29, 2013 7:16 pm
    I'm honored to be the first to introduce the name "Barney Fife" into the conversation.

    :-)
  19. Jobaba
    Report Abuse
    Jobaba - April 29, 2013 7:06 pm
    JRT - Are you OK? You see, this is a news story. It was deemed newsworthy undoubtably because it WAS an officer, who are supposed to shoot bad guys but never themselves.

    And this is a comment section whereby citizens can comment on newsworthy articles.

    Shall we play the midwestern game of "what if"? What if a child had been in the line of fire?

    All of your points are still invalid.
  20. Jobaba
    Report Abuse
    Jobaba - April 29, 2013 6:57 pm
    'Zactly!
  21. Jobaba
    Report Abuse
    Jobaba - April 29, 2013 6:56 pm
    Well of course we simply cannot understand this because we have not all been officers. I should say that with over four decades of carry I have never experienced a negligent discharge (ND).

    Perhaps we should review? Always know what lays behind your intended target. If you wish to shoot your hand, do not put it in front of your leg.

    Never draw your weapon unless you intend to use it.

    Know if a round is in the chamber. Treat your weapon as if it always has a round in the chamber.

    Last, if it could happen to anyone we would read about this more often. Your point is invalid.
  22. LAXTEA
    Report Abuse
    LAXTEA - April 29, 2013 5:39 pm
    Modern firearms do not discharge accidentally. Keep yer booger picker off the bang switch.
  23. Sal Yodada
    Report Abuse
    Sal Yodada - April 29, 2013 5:18 pm
    “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”


    ― Voltaire
  24. JRT
    Report Abuse
    JRT - April 29, 2013 5:02 pm
    This kind of accident could really happen to anyone, Law Enforcement or conceal carrying citizen. There are the many possibilities of the things that can go wrong while carrying a weapon. Im sure if this article were about an ordinary citizen shooting them self in the leg most people would scroll right passed it on this site. How ever when its a Law Enforcement Officer involved, people like Jobaba, and Lookout have to drop in there 2 cents of idiocy so that they can sleep well at night.

  25. JCX
    Report Abuse
    JCX - April 29, 2013 4:57 pm
    Probably in one of those famous GUN FREE zones.
  26. Napoleon
    Report Abuse
    Napoleon - April 29, 2013 3:05 pm
    That's very foolish: covering up leads to a repeat of the problem, not a fix. Censors don't protect, they want control.
  27. Napoleon
    Report Abuse
    Napoleon - April 29, 2013 3:02 pm
    Correct... there's lots of things that could go wrong that are not the fault of the officer. I want to know what happened, so it doesn't happen to me: I consider that part of my continuous carry training. Could be the gun, yes: stuck firing pins, gun disassembled and not reassembled correctly, failed safeties, and lots of other things.

    "When are you at the most risk for a negligent discharge? It is when you are holstering or drawing your weapon."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_7f9GCJL4g

    Mulitple Gun Malfunctions

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEgGiTVLUuM
  28. Jobaba
    Report Abuse
    Jobaba - April 29, 2013 2:48 pm
    The Vernon Broadcaster has disabled comments on this story. We are not to criticize the police, because that is disrespectful.
  29. Napoleon
    Report Abuse
    Napoleon - April 29, 2013 2:46 pm
    ctd... most cops carry Glocks, which has a trigger safety making the trigger harder to sideswipe, but not impossible especially if you're struggling with the button on your SERPA holster. I carry Glocks about 80% of the time: I've hit the trigger a few times during quick draw dryfire exercises with a similar holster, which I no longer use. For civilian carry, go Don Hume, Crossbreed or Galco... Glock make a cheap plastic retention holster that works great. Even a Fobus will do.
  30. Allen
    Report Abuse
    Allen - April 29, 2013 2:35 pm
    Give him a break. Maybe weapon malfunctioned. accidents do happen to even the best trained.
  31. Napoleon
    Report Abuse
    Napoleon - April 29, 2013 2:29 pm
    Button retention holster? It's possible to swipe the trigger during the draw an instant after you press the button on your SERPA...I won't use them for that reason...for details, see below:

    Original Upload, I Just Shot Myself!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYvAxLX6OzE

    Opinion: Blackhawk SERPA and Tex Grebners Mishap

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDpxVG9XFJc
  32. Jobaba
    Report Abuse
    Jobaba - April 29, 2013 2:00 pm
    Should we ask why the weapon was out of its holster or is that disrespectful?
  33. lookout
    Report Abuse
    lookout - April 29, 2013 1:54 pm
    Well trained and still not very good with his job.
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