According to an incident report from the Delaware County Sheriff’s office, security guard James Roberts was cleaning his service weapon when it discharged at about 10:40 a.m. Oct. 6 inside the security office in the lobby of the county’s Rutherford B. Hayes Building. The building, located at 117 North Union St., houses many county offices, including the county prosecutor, treasurer, recorder, juvenile court and Job and Family Services.
The bullet from Roberts’ 9 mm weapon tore through the office wall and struck a recessed light fixture in the ceiling of the building’s lobby, according to the report. The shock of the impact could be heard and felt by employees on the floor directly above. An employee of one of the county offices was walking into the front entrance of the Hayes building at the time and can be seen reacting when pieces of the light fixture fell from the ceiling, video collected by investigators showed.
Roberts, who works for Trident Security LLC, a longtime service contractor for the county, told investigators that he was cleaning his gun in the security office off the front entrance of the Hayes building when “he noticed the gun was cocked and pulled the trigger to see if a round was in the chamber.”