Parkland High School Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Leaving Gun in Public Restroom

Sean Simpson was present at mass shooting where 17 were killed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2018 2:39 PM CDT
Stoneman Douglas Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Leaving Gun in Public Restroom
Students are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, after a shooter opened fire on the campus.   (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher who was at the Parkland, Fla., school when 17 people were killed in a mass shooting has been arrested after allegedly leaving his gun in a public restroom, the Miami Herald reports. Science teacher Sean Simpson told deputies he accidentally left the Glock 9mm in the bathroom at Florida's Deerfield Beach Pier Sunday; when he realized what he'd done and went back to get it, he heard a gunshot. Joseph Spataro, a 69-year-old homeless man who was allegedly drunk at the time, had found the gun and fired it, authorities say; Simpson was able to take the gun from him. Spataro told deputies he fired it to see whether it was loaded. No one was injured in the incident, Local 10 reports.

Spataro was charged with trespassing and firing a weapon while intoxicated; Simpson, 43, was charged with failing to safely store a firearm. Local 10 notes that after the Parkland school shooting, Simpson told MSNBC he was open to President Trump's idea of arming teachers. He has also supported the student activists from the school protesting for gun control, saying, "These kids are demanding action, they're going to cause change." A Broward County School Board spokesperson says Simpson remains a teacher at Stoneman Douglas and that the district is not expected to take any professional action against him. The second-degree misdemeanor he's been charged with carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail. (Read more Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stories.)

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