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Policeman dies after being shot by fellow officer during training

ARLINGTON, Texas — A policeman participating in a training exercise was shot to death with a live round fired by another officer.

Officer Joey Cushman was shot in the head about 6:10 p.m. Thursday and was pronounced dead at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth about three hours later. Cushman had been with the department 4 1/2 years and had been promoted to corporal only a day earlier, police spokeswoman Danetta Chube said.

Police determined that a live round was involved in Cushman's death at a junior high school, police Sgt. James Hawthorne said today.

"We have a lot of investigation to do to determine how that may have occurred," he told Dallas television station WFAA.

The exercise, intended to train officers for handling school shootings, was held at Ousley Junior High School in Arlington. The school is closed for the summer and no students were present.

Cushman and 20 to 30 other officers were wearing full gear that includes a helmet and a bulletproof vest. Officers were supposed to use rubber bullets.

"We're here to train, to make sure schools are safe. Then an officer was shot — that's devastating," Chube said.

Cushman, 26, was the police department's rookie of the year in 1999 and also valedictorian of his police academy class.

The officer who shot the gun "is devastated," Hawthorne said. "A lot of us are just trying to wrestle with how this actually occurred." The officer's name was not immediately released.