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Vigo County Sheriff's taking extra safety steps to prevent accidental gunfire in schools

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Sim Gun

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Local law enforcement agencies are reacting to an accidental shooting at a school.

We told you Thursday that a sheriff's deputy accidentally fired his gun, hitting a South Vermillion High School student.

It happened while the deputy was teaching a law enforcement class.

The student was taken to a Terre Haute hospital with minor injuries and is expected to be okay.

We reached out to the Vermillion County sheriff's office about why a real gun was being used.

The sheriff's office says it doesn't know all the details of the incident.

The Vigo County sheriff's office hopes something like that won't happen here.

The Vigo County School Corporation participates in active shooter training each year.

Gun Safety in Schools 5 pm

Sheriff John Plasse says with active shooter training happening in local schools, he wants teachers and students safe.

That's why the sheriff's office is being extra careful when dealing with guns inside schools.

Vigo County sheriff John Plasse says what happened at South Vermillion was unfortunate.

He's glad it didn't end up much worse than it did.

"I don't want to criticize or judge another agency, I know they had an accident up in Vermillion, and I'm glad the student wasn't injured more than he was," Plasse said.

To prevent any gun-related accidents in Vigo County Schools, the sheriff's department says they're taking steps to keep your kids safe.

The first step is using plastic guns, or "sim guns".

"We've been using simunitions for many years. The one good thing about the sim gun is that it's blue, it's really distinguishable it can't be mistaken for the regular firearm," Plasse said.

Sim guns also don't take live ammunition.

That's because it won't fit inside the gun.

You can think of a sim gun like a paintball gun.

In fact, no real guns or even tasers are allowed inside during active shooter training.

Plasse says all firearms need to be handled with extreme care, even by law enforcement.

"It's not a toy. It should never be taken out of its holster unless it's for a real-life scenario where you need to shoot someone and that's just not acceptable to take it out in the school," he said.

He says even if it seems innocent, his staff also are told to never remove their service pistols from their holsters.

He says it's simply too big of a risk.

"You can't sacrifice safety or something could happen that would be bad, and we don't want that," Plasse said.

Plasse says he wants you to know that your students and teachers are safe at all times during this instruction.

He says the training is important to be able to prevent outside threats from the school as well.

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