​For release on September 26, 2012  CONTACT:
Terry Harman,
Assistant District Attorney
D.A. DECLINES TO FILE CHARGES AGAINST OFFICER WHOSE YOUNG SON ACCIDENTALLY KILLED HIMSELF WITH THE OFFICER’S GUN   The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has declined to file criminal charges against a San Jose Police Officer whose three-year-old son accidentally killed himself with the officer’s weapon.   After a comprehensive legal analysis, the District Attorney concluded that the shooting was “a horrible, irreversible mistake” and did not meet all of the required elements for charging Officer Brandon Orlando with the criminal storage of a firearm. The findings are discussed in a six-page report included along with this news release, as well as posted on the District Attorney’s website at www.santaclara-da.org   “For Officer Orlando, this was a devastating mistake that can never be corrected,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “For the rest of us, it is a sad and cautionary tale about the paramount importance of gun safety.  Please don’t make the same mistake and let three-year-old Preston Orlando’s death be in vain. When not in use, keep your weapons safely locked away from our innocent children.”   The shooting happened at Officer Orlando’s Gilroy home on July 5, 2012, when the boy found his father’s gun in a night stand drawer and accidentally shot himself.   The criminal storage law requires that a person “know or reasonably should know that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm without permission….” To be charged, the officer must have been “grossly negligent.”  Prosecutors concluded that the officer was not grossly negligent because, among other things, the officer thought his children wouldn’t be home while he was there, that he planned to leave the house with his gun before the children returned home, and because the gun was placed out of plain view in a drawer in the master bedroom with the door closed.   The law also requires the District Attorney when making a charging decision to consider the impact of the boy’s death on his father. The officer is devastated. He suffers from flashbacks, has difficulty sleeping and is severely traumatized. The report says, “There is no court ordered punishment that could rival the degree of loss he and his family have suffered.”   ###   Attachments

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