Police said Adaisha Miller was dancing with the officer early Sunday when she hugged him from behind. His gun, which was in a waist holster, went off, and the bullet punctured Milleras lung and hit her heart. She died at a hospital.
Detroit police officers have the option of carrying their weapons while off-duty. The model issued by the department has a safety mechanism built into the trigger.
The Smith & Wesson M&P primarily was designed for police and military use. It does not have a safety switch, but the trigger has to be pulled back completely for the gun to fire, certified firearms instructor Rick Ector said.
Ector said that if properly holstered, the gun cannot be fired accidentally.
David Balash, a former Michigan State Police firearms examiner, said the investigation also should look at the guns angle given that Miller was shot in the chest.
Whats going to be very important here is the angle of the entry of the wound to the victim [and] if there is in fact any gunpowder residue, Balash said. I am having a great deal of difficulty understanding how a weapon that is pointed at the ground can be turned literally 110 degrees minimum to be in an upward position to strike someone.
But Godbee said Parrishs waist holster was made of a soft, neoprene-type material, and it would be possible for the trigger to be pulled while the gun was in it. He also said the barrel direction typically would have been pointing down while holstered.