Thursday, October 14, 2004

Officer graduates, loses job

He's charged after gun goes off - hitting himself, woman

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Shawn J. Weyer
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS - Shawn J. Weyer might go down in history as having the shortest career with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Hours after graduating from the corrections academy and celebrating with friends, Weyer, 24, was arrested early Wednesday while off duty. He is charged with accidentally shooting himself in the left hand and a woman in the leg while drunk - and lying about it to police.

Cincinnati police charged Weyer with the misdemeanor crimes of improperly firing his weapon while intoxicated, discharging a firearm in city limits, negligent assault and obstructing official business.

But before Weyer was released from the county jail Wednesday, Sheriff Simon Leis had fired him. "He obviously doesn't fit our criteria to be an employee of this department," Steve Barnett, sheriff's spokesman, said.

Weyer said he wants to make amends with Leis. "I will say: 'Hey, I don't want to lose my job. It's unfortunate this happened,' " Weyer said. He'd like to get his job back, he said, but he wouldn't fight the firing if Leis doesn't relent.

About 2:30 a.m., Weyer and four of his friends were wrapping up their celebration at Emily Arner's University Heights apartment.

Weyer said he was showing his personal, 9mm handgun to Stephanie O'Campo and another man when it accidentally fired while he was putting it away.

The bullet nicked him and struck O'Campo, whose age and address were unavailable. She was treated and released at Mercy Hospital Fairfield.

Police charged Arner with obstructing official business, saying she gave officers false statements. She denies that.

The shooting has been blown out of proportion, Weyer said. He said he wasn't drunk, saying he drank four beers over 10 hours. And, he said, he didn't lie to police.

"I'm tired of looking like a big old drunk whaling my gun around and I'm not," he said.


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