Neither the name of the victim nor the trainer who fired the shot were released Thursday evening. The library police officer, who was shot near the end of the training session, was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to police.
“It’s a very tragic situation that we are dealing with here,” Contee said.
The shooting occurred about 3:30 pm in a training room in the lower level of the library, which is in the 1800 block of Good Hope Road SE. Contee said about six people were in the room at the time of the incident, including the trainer, the victim and several other library police officers.
Immediately after the shooting, officials said the shooting appeared to be accidental. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and in its early stages. Contee did not address whether the shooting was accidental at the news conference, and an official later cautioned that no conclusions had been reached.
The DC Public Library is an independent city agency that has its own police department. Officers, who are licensed to be armed, are responsible for public safety at library locations, said spokesman George Williams. He referred questions about the shooting to DC police.
Thursday at the library was supposed to be a “job readiness” day, where neighborhood residents could stop by for help setting up emails and preparing their resumes. By evening, the library had posted signs on the door saying the building was closed because of an emergency.