TDCJ admits officer lost gun at St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan
“The correctional officer has been relieved of duty pending disciplinary.”
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas Department of Criminal Justice admitted Monday that a correctional officer misplaced a gun at St. Joseph Hospital early Friday morning. The weapon has still not been located.
According to a statement from TDCJ, at approximately 12:30 a.m. Friday a “correctional officer noticed a weapon was misplaced.” TDCJ said the on-duty staff notified the Bryan Police Department security at the hospital as well as TDCJ administration.
TDCJ believes the weapon is not at the hospital, but did not detail whether the weapon was stolen. “A full search was conducted and the weapon was not recovered,” the statement reads.
“The correctional officer has been relieved of duty pending disciplinary,” the statement reads.
KBTX first learned about the lost gun Friday afternoon but was told by hospital communication staff there was an active investigation that led to heightened security out of caution. When KBTX learned TDCJ staff was on scene we asked the agency for comment.
TDCJ Deputy Director of Communications Hannah Haney referred our questions to St. Joseph’s communications team and did not reply when asked specifically about the missing weapon. Bryan police told KBTX Friday afternoon they were unaware of any situation at the hospital.
On Monday, KBTX followed up, asking TDCJ for an on-camera interview about why our questions on Friday were directed to a non-governmental organization without knowledge or background in the handling of firearms. Additionally, we requested details about the missing gun and search, including why TDCJ chose to wait multiple days before a public acknowledgment of the missing weapon. Those questions are provided in their entirety in the image below.
KBTX’s interview request was ignored, but TDCJ sent a statement side-stepping many of those questions on Monday evening at 4:55 p.m.
Below is the complete statement from TDCJ Director of Communications Amanda Hernandez provided to KBTX Monday evening.
“On September 22, 2023, a team of three correctional officers were on watch at the St. Joseph Regional Hospital in Bryan as an inmate received medical treatment. At approximately 12:30 a.m., a correctional officer noticed a weapon was misplaced. The on-duty TDCJ staff notified the Bryan Police Department security at the hospital as well as TDCJ administration. TDCJ worked with the hospital, local law enforcement and Office of the Inspector General to search for the weapon. A full search was conducted and the weapon was not recovered. At this time, the weapon is still missing and believed to not be at the hospital. The correctional officer has been relieved of duty pending disciplinary.”
On its website, TDCJ says it “shall maintain a position of cooperation and responsiveness in informing the media concerning TDCJ operations and accomplishments” and that the agency’s actions “shall reflect this position.”
KBTX filed six separate Texas Public Information Act requests on Monday with TDCJ seeking clarity to the questions the agency chose not to answer.
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