A Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher who volunteered to carry a gun at the school where 17 people lost their lives was arrested Sunday for allegedly leaving his loaded gun in a public restroom.
According to WPLG, Science teacher Sean Simpson, 43, told police that he accidentally left the 9mm in a bathroom stall at Deerfield Beach Pier while visiting the beach Sunday. As he went to retrieve it, Simpson recalled hearing a gunshot and finding Joseph Spataro, 69, a drunk homeless man, in the bathroom holding the gun. Simpson then took the gun from Spataro, police said.
Spataro was charged with firing a weapon while intoxicated and trespassing. Meanwhile, the science teacher was arrested and charged with failing to safely store a firearm. He was released from jail after posting a $250 bond, according to the Miami Herald.
“There was a reasonable likelihood that the firearm could have ended up in the hands of a child or the discharge of the firearm could have wounded another person or child,” deputies wrote in their arrest report.
Superintendent Robert Runcie confirmed to the Sun Sentinel Thursday that Simpson is still teaching at the Parkland high school and would not face immediate disciplinary action for Sunday’s incident.
“We wouldn’t take any action at the school until there’s a final disposition,” he said. “Then we would decide if an investigation or discipline is warranted.”
While Simpson declined to comment on the incident, he told WPLG that keeping a firearm on him didn’t violate school board rules.
Meanwhile, the Broward school board recently rejected implementing a statewide program aimed at arming school staff. According to the Herald, the board will ask the state to repurpose that money so they can hire more police officers.
[Featured Image: Sean Simpson/Broward County Sheriff’s Office]