FBI backflip agent who accidentally shot man in nightclub spared jail
The FBI agent who went viral when he accidentally shot someone as he performed a back flip on a dance floor will not be sent to jail, a court has ruled.
Chase Bishop was on holiday when he visited the Mile High Spirits nightclub in Denver, Colorado one evening last June
With a crowd of late night revellers cheering him on, the 30-year-old showed off the impressive gymnastic manoeuvre during which his loaded gun fell from the waistband of his trousers.
As Bishop bent down to pick up the weapon from the floor, it discharged into the screaming crowd and hit Tom Reddington, a 24-year-old former Amazon warehouse worker, in the leg.
A video of the incident, which shows the agent walking off the dance floor with his hands in the air, subsequently went viral on social media.
At the time, Mr Reddington told US media that he thought "some idiot had set off a fire cracker" before looking down at his leg and seeing the blood.
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He told the court hearing in Denver on Friday that he has since lost his job and may never be able to run again as a result of the injury.
"I have done months of physical therapy," he said. "I have sought counselling. However, being in public, especially seeing law enforcement with guns, makes me very uncomfortable."
However, he added that he does not hold a personal grudge against Bishop and didn’t think he deserved to spend years in jail.
“I’ve done stupid things at bars to impress girls, too,” he said but that he hoped he would not be allowed to own a gun for a "long time".
Under his deal with prosecutors, Bishop was sentenced to two years probation. He was also fined $1,200 and ordered to pay compensation to the victim.
Speaking in court, he said: “My whole goal in life is to care, protect and serve people,” the agent told the judge as he pleaded guilty to third degree assault. “I never expected the result of my actions to lead to something like this.”
Kelsey Pietranton, an FBI spokeswoman, declined to say if he would continue to work at the agency.