City Manager Chris Eppley

Keizer City Manager Chris Eppley said he was “preoccupied” when he brought a loaded firearm into the Keizer Civic Center negligently discharged it while disassembling it for repairs.

Keizertimes obtained a portion of Eppley’s incident report regarding the situation and verified its authenticity. The part of the report Keizertimes received is Eppley’s description of what happened.

Eppley states that he had brought pieces of firearms into city hall before to perform repairs and modifications, but never a full firearm.

On those occasions, Eppley writes he disassembled the firearms in his car. On March 4, he brought a full and loaded gun into city hall. He intended to replace a part of the slide and was disassembling the firearm when it discharged under his desk. Even as he disassembled the firearm, Eppley stated “it didn’t occur to me that I was disassembling a firearm in my office instead of in my car.”

“Minor damage was done to the front panel of my desk that I will repair but no other damage occurred,” Eppley wrote.

The incident “greatly startled” another employee in a nearby office. He apologized to her and notified several other individuals including human resources personnel, the chair of the civic center safety committee and Mayor Cathy Clark.

The full text of the incident description reads as follows:

“From time to time I have brought into my office parts of a firearm, either the slide, or the grip, but not both at the same time, so as to not have a functioning firearm in the City Hall, when wanting to do a modification or repair to a component. When I do this, I strip the firearm in half and leave 1/2 of it in my car (either the slide or the grip module) so as to not have a functioning firearm in my office. Today I received a part for a slide that I wanted to replace and I was intending to bring in just the slide to install the part and then take the slide back out to my car. I was preoccupied, however and forgot to do the disassembly in my car resulting in my having a fully functioning firearm in my office. I’m not sure why it didn’t dawn on me that I had a full gun with me. I was rushed and simply didn’t pay attention to exactly what I was doing right then. While I was disassembling the firearm, (once again, it didn’t occur to me that I was disassembling a firearm in my office instead of in my car) it negligently discharged under my desk. Minor damage was done to the front panel of my desk that I will repair but no other damage occurred. The incident greatly startled Tammie Harmes [sic], for which I am deeply sorry for, and I am keenly aware that I both violated a City Policy and also put my fellow co-workers in danger, which is also something that I am incredibly upset about. I have notified the City Attorney, apologized to Tammie, notified Jeff Hayen [sic], Safety Committee Chair, HR (both Kristen and Machell), and also called and informed Mayor Clark as she is my direct supervisor.”