A Secret Service agent assigned to protect the wife of former President Ronald Reagan accidentally shot himself in the hip Friday during a firearms training session at a shooting range owned by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
"The shooting occurred about 9:50 a.m. at the shooting range on Aviation Drive in Camarillo, sheriff's spokesman Capt. Mike Aranda said. The agent was putting his gun back in its holster when it fired, striking him in the hip. He was taken to Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura with a non-life-threatening injury," reports the Ventura County Star.
The Ventura shooting range was rented Friday by the Secret Service for training unrelated to events celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, reported by Digital Journal.
The Secret Service is handling the investigation of the incident, Aranda told Vcstar.com. Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, said the agency will try to find out exactly what happened and prevent it from occurring again. "We're going to have to look at all the circumstances of what happened and make adjustments to our training," he said. Donovan added, he could not recall any similar incident during his 20 years with the Secret Service
The VC Star reports the agent was assigned to the Reagan Protective Division of the Secret Service, which handles security for the former first lady
Mrs. Reagan continues to receive protection from the United States Secret Service based on a 1965 law Congress enacted which authorized the Secret Service to protect a former president and their spouse during their lifetime, unless they decline protection. That law was changed in 1997, when Congress enacted new legislation that limited the protection for former presidents to 10 years after leaving office. Under this new law, individuals who are in office before January 1, 1997 and their spouses will continue to receive Secret Service protection for their lifetime. Individuals elected to office after that time will receive protection for 10 years after leaving office. President Clinton and Hilary Clinton will be the last president and spouse eligible to receive lifetime protection from the agency, according to the U.S. Secret Service website.
Secret Service agents receive continuous advanced training throughout their careers, which includes regular firearms re-qualification and emergency medicine refresher courses. The agency website states they are required to carry guns and maintain their firearm proficiency
The agent, whose name has not been disclosed, is reportedly recovering from the gunshot wound.