Michelle Bennett during a meet-and-greet with Edmonds Police Chief finalists at the Edmonds Library. (Kevin Clark / The Herald file)

Michelle Bennett during a meet-and-greet with Edmonds Police Chief finalists at the Edmonds Library. (Kevin Clark / The Herald file)

Edmonds police chief accidentally fires gun inside police vehicle

Michelle Bennett was at a city fueling facility when her gun went off. Nobody was injured. Edmonds Mayor Mike Rosen was reviewing the incident.

EDMONDS — The Edmonds police chief accidentally fired her service weapon while inside her police vehicle, prompting a city investigation, according to the Edmonds Police Department.

In early March, Chief Michelle Bennett was inside her car at a refueling station at the Edmonds Public Works building in the 7100 block of 210th Street SW, Edmonds police Cmdr. Josh McClure said. No other people were near the car.

Bennett was not handling her holstered weapon, McClure said. While the car was parked and refueling, Bennett reached down to retrieve something from her bag. As she moved items around in the bag, a key became wedged between the trigger guard and space in the holster, according to the police department. The gun fired.

Bennett informed the on-duty commander, who initiated an investigation, police said. The commander notified the assistant chief, who then informed Mayor Mike Rosen. Bennett wrote a damage report, which was sent to the police department’s safety committee, McClure said.

While nobody was injured, the inside of the car was damaged. The police chief sent out a message to the department, telling her staff about the gun going off and encouraging caution when using firearms, McClure said.

In August 2021, then-Mayor Mike Nelson selected Bennett — who was serving as interim police chief — for the permanent job. Bennett got her start as a cadet for the Edmonds Police Department. By the time she was named chief, she had three decades of service under her belt, working in various capacities for the King County Sheriff’s Office since 1990, including chief of police in Maple Valley and Sammamish.

Under state law, any officer who unsafely discharges their weapon could be liable for denial, suspension or revocation of their police certification, if they are found to have committed misconduct.

As of Wednesday, the discharge was under investigation. Rosen was reviewing the incident.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @snocojon.

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