DENVER – An FBI agent under investigation for an accidental shooting at a Denver distillery is a decorated former captain in the U.S. Army, 9NEWS has learned.
The agent is under investigation after an incident early Saturday morning at Mile High Spirits, 2201 Lawrence St., that began with a backflip on the dance floor. Video appears to show the off-duty agent dancing and doing a flip – during which, his pistol dropped from his waistband and landed on the floor.
When the agent reached for the gun, it fired – hitting another patron in the leg.
Multiple sources confirmed to 9Wants to Know that the agent is Chase Bishop, who is not assigned to the Denver field office and works out of Washington, D.C.
Military records obtained Wednesday by WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C., show that Bishop was on active duty in the U.S. Army from November 2011 to February 2017, when he discharged. He held the rank of captain at the time.
According to the records, Bishop served in Afghanistan. He was awarded 10 commendations, including the Army Commendation Medal for his actions in Afghanistan in 2013.
Bishop and members of his family have not responded to multiple messages requesting comment.
The shooting occurred around 12:45 a.m. Saturday.
At the time Denver police said in a news release that an off-duty FBI agent was dancing at a nightclub when his firearm became dislodged from its waistband holster and fell onto the floor. When the agent retrieved his handgun, it accidentally fired and struck another person in the lower leg.
That man’s prognosis is "good," Denver police said.
Frank Azar, the man’s attorney, told 9NEWS his client was at Mile High Spirits when he realized he was hurt and then shocked to realize he was shot. Azar said he was released from the hospital over the weekend.
The agent could face criminal charges – a decision that is pending while investigators await laboratory tests to determine if he had alcohol in his system.
A former FBI agent told 9NEWS that an agent who accidentally discharges a weapon will be automatically suspended for three days without pay. The retired FBI agent also told 9NEWS if there are aggravating circumstances to the accidental discharge, the discipline could be more severe, up to termination.
Aggravating circumstances can be violations of policy, whether someone was injured, whether alcohol was involved, or whether local laws or ordinances were violated.
According to the retired FBI agent, the Douglas Factors will be considered for the employee’s discipline, including “the notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the reputation of the agency.”
The Douglas Factors were established in the 1981 court case Douglas v. Veterans Administration. In that case, the Merit Systems Protection Board laid out 12 factors to be considered in a federal employee’s discipline case.