Teacher who accidentally fired gun inside classroom won't face charges

Photo: Dennis Alexander, Seaside City Council 

SEASIDE (BCN) A police officer who shot his gun inside a classroom will not be charged for the incident, but received a separate infraction for leaving his gun in an unattended vehicle afterward.  

The infraction came up by "happenstance" when police responded to recover the gun after the shooting, according to Berkley Brannon, Monterey County chief assistant District Attorney. 

Dennis Alexander will face a fine, similar to a traffic ticket. 

Alexander, a reserve Sand City police officer, was teaching a public safety course at Seaside High School when he shot his gun into the ceiling on March 13 to make sure there was no round in the chamber, prosecutors said.

Alexander thought he had unloaded his gun, prosecutors said, but was mistaken and shot a bullet into the classroom ceiling. 

Prosecutors reviewed several charges but decided Alexander did not intentionally shoot the gun. Police said they interviewed over 30 witnesses and said no student reported feeling threatened.

After the shooting happened, the school district issued a statement saying that debris fell from the ceiling, but they did not confirm reports that one student was injured. 

Students also started a petition after Alexander's resignation on March 29 to reinstate his employment. 

Alexander began working in the Monterey Union Peninsula School District in 1994.