Deputy police chief in Hartford unintentionally fires gun in her office; No one injured, incident under investigation

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A deputy police chief in Hartford unintentionally fired her weapon in her office in the city’s public safety complex Wednesday evening, prompting an internal investigation, the department says.

Deputy Chief of Administrative Services Sonia Watson apparently discharged her firearm as she was securing the weapon and preparing to leave work for the day, according to Lt. Aaron Boisvert. No one was injured, and Watson immediately reported the incident.

Watson, who joined Hartford police in 2003, is on restricted duty and will not have her service weapon returned until she completes a retraining program in firearm safety next week, Boisvert said.

“The full circumstances of this discharge will be investigated and there may be disciplinary action warranted,” Boisvert, the department spokesman, said Thursday. “While no one was injured, we take any discharge of a weapon very seriously.”

As part of the investigation, the department will also test the firearm to determine whether it could have accidentally discharged due to a mechanical failure or equipment malfunction.

Watson became deputy chief of community services in 2018, then transitioned to chief of administrative and support services.

In her 18-year career, she worked as a patrol officer, a detective in juvenile investigations — now called the Special Investigation Division — and a sergeant in internal affairs.

She was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2014 and became the commander of the SID, before becoming the only female deputy chief four years later.

Rebecca Lurye can be reached at rlurye@courant.com.

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