Baltimore's police commissioner suspended some training academy staff after an instructor shot a campus police trainee in the head during a training accident in Baltimore County Tuesday, authorities said.
Authorities said late Tuesday that the trainee, who is in his 40s, underwent surgery at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He is in critical condition.
He had been training to serve on the campus police force for the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
"We are praying for a very speedy recovery," Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
The accident happened about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at a firearms training center on the grounds of the former Rosewood Center in Owings Mills, a suburb of Baltimore. City police were administering the training. Another trainee was injured by glass during the same incident.
The investigation is focusing on how the instructor came to discharge live ammunition, Guglielmi said. One theory is that he picked up the wrong gun. Police officials are also trying to figure out who authorized the training session because the location where the shooting occurred is not one of the normal sites used by the department, Guglielmi said.
Officials say police academy training has been suspended pending a safety review. Maryland State Police are leading the investigation into the incident. The Baltimore police department's internal affairs office is assisting in the probe.
Guglielmi said the police commissioner has also asked the Maryland Police Training Commission to investigate.
Investigators have a lot of questions, the spokesman said, including "how did this incident happen? Everything from what type of weapon was used to 'Why was a live weapon used?'"