The dancing FBI agent who accidentally discharged his gun is now facing charges, police say
DENVER — The FBI agent who unintentionally shot someone while dancing in a Denver bar turned himself in to police on Tuesday and is awaiting charges.
The agent, identified as 29-year-old Chad Bishop, is being held at a Denver detention center for investigation of second degree assault, pending formal charges from the District Attorney’s Office, according to Denver Police Department spokesman Jay Casillas.
Bishop was showing off his moves in the center of a dance circle at Mile High Spirits bar on June 2 when he launched into a back handspring. During the move, a firearm fell out of his waistband holster and onto the floor, Denver police said.
He moved to pick the weapon up and unintentionally fired one shot, police said. Bishop then put the gun back in his pants and walked away with his hands up.
One person was struck in the lower leg and was expected to survive, police said.
The arrest comes a week after video of the incident went viral and raised questions as to why Bishop was not initially taken into custody.
An attorney for the victim told CNN affiliate KMGH that the bullet hit the victim’s main artery and that he could have bled to death, if not for a person who applied a tourniquet to the victim’s leg.
The District Attorney’s Office as well as Denver FBI did not comment on the incident, citing a pending investigation.
Authorities did not initially identify the FBI agent because he was not arrested at the time, Denver police community resource officer Marika Putnam said. Denver police said last week that the agent could face possible charges pending the results of lab testing to determine if alcohol was a factor.
Last week, the Mile High Spirits team released a statement on Facebook saying they looked forward to speaking with the FBI to learn more about why the agent was armed in the bar.
“It is shocking that the only shooting to ever occur at our establishment came about as a result of an FBI agent entering our distillery tasting room carrying a loaded firearm without our knowledge, in violation of our rules,” the bar said.
The bar also said the patron who was shot is welcome to complimentary drinks forever at the bar.
Retired FBI supervisory special agent James A. Gagliano wrote for CNN that he understood the need for a young agent to blow off steam. Still, he wrote that he was shocked at the agent’s poor judgment.
“This agent should have taken better care to conceal and secure his weapon,” Gagliano wrote. “Even before he lost control of it, you can clearly see the weapon’s outline against his shirt in the video. That’s an egregiously unacceptable concealment effort.
“And knowing he was armed, he may have elected to avoid the dance-off.”