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Harris said county officials have conducted a preliminary investigation and determined the shooting was unintentional; roughhousing between the deputy and jailer was likely involved. Could have been a potential Darwin Award candidate...
BANDERA — Remedial training to prevent workplace horseplay is being planned in the wake of the weekend wounding of a Bandera County jailer whose prank went awry.
“We don't condone that activity,” Chief Deputy Don Berger said Monday. “It's an unfortunate accident we wished wouldn't have happened.”
He said Daniel Spengler, 22, was shot in the right thigh by Deputy A.J. Griffin about 4:45 a.m. Sunday at the new law enforcement center on Texas 173 and is recovering at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio.
Spengler had hidden in an office in an unfinished area of the building, which now houses the jail and communications center, and rattled a door to spook nearby dispatchers, Berger said.
Griffin went to investigate the noises and, as he entered the darkened office, Spengler — expecting an unarmed dispatcher — jumped out and roared, Berger said.
He said Griffin, 36, “reverted to his training” and fired once, hitting Spengler in the leg, then gave medical care to Spengler, who was taken to the hospital by helicopter.
Berger said the Texas Rangers will be asked to review the findings of an internal investigation that, so far, has found no wrong-doing by Griffin, a deputy there for two years.
He's on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation, said Berger, who described Griffin as “naturally upset” over shooting his friend.
Spengler, a jailer for 20 months, faces possible disciplinary action, said Berger, adding, “Our main concern now is getting him better.”
Neither Griffin nor Sheriff Weldon Tucker could be reached for comment on Monday.