RIVERDALE — The police chief who shot himself in the ankle was waving a loaded pistol and being careless, according to two students who were attending his class to qualify for a concealed-weapons permit.
"We were told the gun is the chief's personal sidearm, but it looked to me like he didn't know anything about the gun," Lewis Walker said.
Bart Ulm, another student seeking certification to carry a concealed weapon, said he was surprised Chief Dave Hansen was using a loaded gun to show how it worked.
"Right then, I was very leery, because there's no need to have live ammo in a gun in the class. But I figured he's the chief, so he must know what he's doing," Ulm said.
Hansen was holding the Glock 40 under a table to disassemble it when a bullet fired, Walker said.
The chief cried, "I'm hit," and fell over. Students who were screaming "Officer down!" were urged to call 911.
The gun went off in a conference room Saturday at Riverdale police headquarters.
Hansen was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden for surgery and released Monday, Lt. James Ebert said.
Ebert said the findings of an internal investigation would be announced Wednesday. He declined to offer specifics but disputed the accounts of Ulm and Walker, describing the pair as "disgruntled."
Other students "did not share that feeling" about the chief, Ebert told The Associated Press.
Walker said he didn't have confidence in the investigation.
"I think Riverdale police are just trying to keep this quiet and act like the chief is a hero. But if you ask me, he's really stupid," Walker said. "His state certification to teach concealed-weapons classes should be taken away from him. This was totally gross negligence."
Ulm said there was a moment of levity during the emergency.
He said an officer at the scene joked that "instead of shooting himself, he should have used the Taser."