FBI Agent Who Accidentally Shot Someone While Dancing Gets to Keep His Gun

An agent who accidentally shot someone while dancing can't be around alcohol, but can keep his gun.


A judge has ruled that an FBI agent can keep his gun after the agent accidentally shot a patron in a Denver nightclub while dancing.

A video showing FBI agent Chase Bishop, 29, dancing at Mile High Spirits went viral in June. A crowd circled around the agent while he showed off his dance moves. A gun fell out of his pants while he did a backflip. When he went to pick up his weapon, he accidentally discharged it into the crowd and a bullet hit another man, Tom Reddington, in the leg. Bishop then put his hands up in the air and walked toward the crowd.

Nearly two weeks after the incident, the Denver District Attorney's office announced that Bishop was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, after turning himself in.

Following a court hearing on Tuesday, Judge Frances Simonet of the Denver County Court ruled that Bishop would be allowed to keep his gun. Frank Azar, Reddington's attorney, previously said that he did not believe that Bishop should have been dancing with a loaded gun. David Goddard, Bishop's lawyer, explained in the court hearing that the agency encouraged its agents to carry at all times, even when they were off the clock. Because of this explanation and a lack of objection from the prosecution, Simonet allowed Bishop to remain armed.

Prosecutors also offered Bishop a plea deal, but the details will not be publicized prior to its acceptance. Bishop must comply with an order to stay away from alcohol and drugs while his case continues. As for his employment, the FBI has yet to explain what discipline is in store for Bishop.

"That's got to be a terrible thing to have to happen. People make mistakes. I hope he doesn't lose his job, and my client hopes he doesn't lose his job," Azar said shortly after the incident.

Reddington also commented just after the shooting, telling ABC News, "I don't blame the guy. I'm not vindictive at all. I don't want to ruin his life. At this point, there's nothing we can do to fix it. So, let's just move on and deal with it as best we can."

NEXT: Police Seized Property of Close to 1,000 People in Michigan—Without Ever Convicting Them of Crimes

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This was a story of an FBI dude doing something stupid, but I don’t think he deserves the full ramming of the state. (Whether the state will continue to pursue a double standard when it comes to its actual citizens is another matter, but I don’t see this as being the wrong ruling at all.)

    1. At a minimum, he doesn’t deserve to keep his job. If a video of an average citizen (particularly someone employed in a security role) doing this surfaced, do you think they’d be likely to keep their job? There’s no reason to have a lower standard for law enforcement.

      1. You are right. His dancing is just terrible.

        1. White men can’t dance.

          1. I’m making $80 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $120 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I’m my own boss. This is what I do…

      2. It is pretty amazing he was not fired.

        But hey, I see shit like this in the military too. Some pilots were drunk and smoking cigars in their rooms while we were underway within 12 hours of when they had to fly. They not only are not supposed to have alcohol on the ship, they are not supposed to smoke in their rooms, and they are definitely not supposed to be drunk within 12 hours of when they are going to take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier.

        What happened to them? Letter of reprimand. Whoopie. Some of them were more senior so I am fairly used to seeing this. If they were some Surface Warfare Officer Ensign or, god forbid, a 19 year old Seaman, they would have been dishonorably discharged. Bunch of shit. With rank comes privileges ehh? Sure it is the same for these FBI pukes.

    2. I don’t care how drunk you are. You should know better then picking up a gun with your finger on the trigger. This guy should not be in law enforcement.

      1. This guy should not be in free society. He needs to go to the can.

        I can’t imagine getting that drunk while carrying a gun in the first place. It is certainly true that guns do not just go off. But carrying a gun is a pretty significant responsibility. It is not something you should take lightly enough to get falling down drunk and do.

        1. If Plaxico had to do some, so should Johnny Law.

          1. Damn straight. And Plaxico just shot himself. This guy shot someone else which is much worse.

          2. This. I have a CCW in Missouri, and I have carried only twice, mainly because of the extra legal hurdles that carriers bear. The course was very instructive, but mostly instructed me that carrying is not a responsibility I want to bear very often. If a completely legal gun is in your car, and you have so much as one beer in your system, you are truly fucked if pulled over. And I pretty much ALWAYS have at least one beer in my system.

            If this is the standard for me, it should be at least as stringent for LEOs, if not moreso.

          3. Good point.

    3. This was a story of an FBI dude doing something stupid, but I don’t think he deserves the full ramming of the state.

      Bullshit. Full speed ahead as if the guy were a civilian. My understanding is that, in Colorado, it means he loses his job, faces charges at a felony hearing (or pleads) and, if convicted, loses his guns. If he doesn’t like it, he can change the laws in his state or move to a state that doesn’t give a shit that he’s a felon and lets him keep his guns.

      1. 100% this. He should be held, at minimum, to the same standards as us plebes. I’d argue that tree standard of care for a law enforcement officer should be higher.

    4. I’ve been given a $8755 due to the fact i’m jobless i want to preserve our have a have a examine consequently,i labored difficult final week and earned $19500 i offer my friends and friends to do that artwork you want to recognize that how many bucks earned in very last week plz test this internet website online to take extra facts..home MEDIA TECH thank you right fortune…..

  2. A judge has ruled that an FBI agent can keep his gun after the agent accidentally shot a patron in a Denver nightclub while dancing.

    I know that if I shot someone accidentally in a night club, I’d not only get to keep my gun, but there would be no criminal charges against me and I know damned well I wouldn’t even lose my job. Because higher standards.

    *drops microphone*

  3. I’m okay with him not losing his job or his right to carry, too. With one important condition. I’m okay with this ONLY so long as this is a binding precedent for all future cases when a non-policeman accidentally shoots someone.

    1. How strong is the “non-policemen” union?

      1. Not very. They only meet in November, every other year.

  4. he accidentally discharged it into the crowd and a bullet hit another man

    No. Bishop shot the man. That’s how guns (and agency) work.

    1. Hey now, guns don’t shoot people, people shoot people. Except when we don’t want to blame the person responsible for the gun. Then guns shoot people.

      1. Excuse me, but I think you meant to say “Bring back prohibition.”

      2. See also: “he lost control of the vehicle”.

    2. The “he accidentally discharged it” is as close as you’re going to get to an admission of agency – standard procedure would be to say “the weapon discharged”.

  5. This is completely unacceptable. The man is moron. He should absolutely not be trusted with a badge.

    1. But he can keep his gun.

      1. *shrug*

        I’m a Second Amendment absolutist.

        So yes, unless he’s in jail, I can’t object to his keeping his gun, just as I wouldn’t for anyone else.

        But I can absolutely complain about him keeping his badge.

        1. Probation is a sentence in lieu of jail and that is acceptable for minor offenses.

          If the sentence is probation, you are still in the custody of the state and certain rights can be suspended until your sentence is complete. Serving a sentence and suspending habeas corpus are the only Constitutionally acceptable manner to suspend certain rights without amending the Constitution.

          The preferential treatment of police over regular Americans is the real problem in this case. Everyone else on probation typically loses multiple civil rights like their 4th Amendment rights to avoid warrantless searches.

        2. I am a second amendment absolutist too. I am also a driving absolutist. But if you get drunk and go driving and as a result of being drunk send someone to the hospital, you need to go to the can for at least a few weeks. The same thing is true of a gun. I am a total believer in the universal right to carry. But if you are going to carry, you should absolutely be held responsible for your actions just like you would with a car.

          1. Oh, I’m definitely not in any way saying that I don’t think he should go to jail.

            I’m just saying that if he’s not in jail, I can’t really object to his having firearms without being a hypocrite.

        3. I’m a Second Amendment absolutist.

          The part where we all get to keep our guns or the part where we defend ourselves against the king’s men?

          I think felons should have a right to guns. However, if this felon isn’t deprived of his right to carry, the 2A has been doubly abrogated.

          1. I agree that felons should not lose their right to own a gun unless they are convicted of a violent crime. If you commit an act of violence and harm someone, the state has a right to take your guns away. With the right to own a gun comes the concurrent responsibility not to harm someone with it.

            1. I’m mixed on that. On the one hand I see your point, but on the other hand should someone be deprived of armed self defense for the rest of their lives? Once they’ve done their time that shouldn’t that be the end of it?

              1. I think once you commit a violent crime, it is fair to say that you can’t be trusted with guns. Maybe you set a time limit on that of say ten years. If someone serves their time and doesn’t harm anyone for ten years, then I think they probably should get their right to own a gun back. But, they ought to have to do something to show they are no longer a risk.

                1. Treat them like cops. Pay them doubletime to watch a few training videos and call it good.

          2. You guys are mixing felons still under state custody and ex-felons or felons that are no longer serving a sentence.

            Felons in state custody cannot have guns because guns in prisons for prisoners would not work. Felons serving sentences on probation should probably not have their gun rights suspended while they are on probation unless the crime involved violent use of guns. In that case, a violent felon should probably be in prison anyway.

            1. “guns in prisons for prisoners would not work.”

              I think I might disagree.
              Thunderdome time!

    2. I dont think the death penalty has any issue with people having guns after their serve their time. Maybe we bury you with your gun. I will even throw in no 10 limit period of waiting. Killers,rapist and violent thiefs deserve no life as to remove their right of life is to increase and protect the value of life of everyone else.

  6. You start taking away guns from careless agents, and the next thing you know, you’re taking a lot of guns away, and then we’re do we end up?

    Don’t want to get on a slippery slope.

  7. “I don’t blame the guy. I’m not vindictive at all. I don’t want to ruin his life. At this point, there’s nothing we can do to fix it. So, let’s just move on and deal with it as best we can.”

    Hmm. Looks like somebody got slipped a little envelope from the FBI’s Seized Assets closet.

    1. The guy was drunk and negligent and as a result, someone got shot and sent to the hospital and could have been killed. I can blame the guy a lot. What the fuck is wrong with people?

      1. I was partly joking, but i wouldn’t bet against shot homie having gotten some kind of visit from the feeb’s coworkers. Maybe they talked payoff, maybe they talked consequences. Who knows?

        1. Sadly, I can’t say that didn’t happen. If it didn’t, the guy who got shot has no pride or shame. It would be one thing if this was a real accident or the result of the agent doing his job and me getting in the way. But, this is the result of the agent being drunk and just not giving a fuck. It is just infuriating. If I were that guy, I would make it my mission in life to destroy that moron’s life.

          1. If it didn’t, the guy who got shot has no pride or shame.

            I was going to say he’s probably a cop-sucker, but that would be redundant.

  8. This guy is a disgrace. This whole affair shows how far the FBI has fallen. The FBI has no pride, standards or any values beyond craven self preservation. Any self respecting organization would be embarrassed by this guy and want him kicked out immediately. The fact that the FBI refuses to do that and in fact wants him to keep his gun and badge just shows what a sorry organization they are.

    And this is not anything new. This is the same organization where dozens of its agents, including its most decorated ones, signed a petition in favor of John Connolly, a guy who made the Boston FBI office an arm of the Winter Hill Gang. There is no fixing the FBI. It needs to go.

    1. But without the FBI, who would run all the darknet kiddie porn sites?

      1. There is that. If we shut down the FBI, the world supply of kitty porn would probably crater.

        1. Hang on now, kitty porn will never be gone from the Internet. Too many soccer moms like to squee over it.

          1. I was thinking more along the lines of “camgirl’s cat wanders into the shot.”

          2. Cats and Welsh Corgies own the internet. You should know that Sparky.

      2. Alright, alright, I’ll do it. Geez.

    2. Not to mention the way he just throws his hands up and starts to walk away after having just shot an innocent person.

      1. Yeah, that is the worst part of it. The guy just shot someone and doesn’t give a single fuck. He is just garbage.

    3. This whole affair shows how far the FBI has fallen. The FBI has no pride, standards or any values beyond craven self preservation.

      Secret Service: After you!
      FBI: No, after you. I insist.
      Secret Service: No, really, after you.
      CIA, DEA (in unison): Would you to fuckwads get in here already?

      1. Grr… two

    4. Thank you, John. It took long enough for someone to state what the rest of us were thinking. The FBI is declining to the state of J.Edgar Hoover’s time. Only qualification is that you’re white and don’t have acne.

      As a side note, the FBI carries Glock pistols. Glock brags about its four or five safeties, but they are not available with a true safety to prevent the trigger from being pulled, which is what happened in this accidental shooting. Glock won’t fire if dropped, but if you pull the trigger, it will, and there is no way to stop it. Smith & Wesson’s comparable pistols are available with manual thumb-operated safety. Sig Sauer, like Glock, is not available with a safety–except for the model they are now manufacturing for the U.S. military. The Army, unlike the FBI, requires a positive safety that prevents the trigger from firing a round when set.

      Not defending the FBI idiot. Just saying a safe pistol would not have fired as he picked it up with his finger in the trigger guard.

  9. He should be made to carry a rubber gun.

  10. This was written in a newspaper with no sense of irony from the author.

    A sparsely attended rally Tuesday suggested people may be more resigned than fired up about the coming rightward tilt of the Supreme Court. But if the past is any guide, get ready for an era of sex-obsessed moralism.

    1. What, another one?!?

    2. I thought we were in the middle of one for as long as I can remember.

      1. I thought we were in the middle of one for as long as I can remember.

        It’s becoming obvious even to the millennials with less than a full news cycle of attention span and boomers with dementia, “So, what you’re saying is, people having sex is bad… weren’t we just talking about this like 2 min. ago?”

  11. Its nice to see the 2nd Amendment protection of the People’s right to keep and bear Arms, is being protected by the courts. Oh wait… Anyone else would have lost that during their sentence.
    2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    1. Well, OK. But ‘shall not be infringed’ is a very hard to understand archaic phrase. It probably means you can keep a deactivated black powder musket locked up as long as it does not have a flint installed.

      1. And militia obviously means army. We wouldn’t want our soldier to be unarmed, would we?

        1. Militia is the people. It was disarming the people that lead to the first shot of the Revolutionary War.

      2. Just like the gun grabbers think that “well-regulated” means burdensome law after burdensome law should piled onto militias and the People.

  12. David Goddard, Bishop’s lawyer, explained in the court hearing that the agency encouraged its agents to carry at all times, even when they were off the clock. Because of this explanation and a lack of objection from the prosecution, Simonet allowed Bishop to remain armed.

    I have a policy of encouraging my employees to rob banks in their off time. It’s even covered in the procedures manual. As long as they’re following procedures I can’t imagine a prosecutor objecting.

    1. Because of this explanation and a lack of objection from the prosecution

      Da fuq?

      Can anybody else get that same treatment?

      “Sure I shot the guy. Accidentally. But, your honor, I was blitzed and I need my gun for my job. No, I don’t need my job enough to NOT get blitzed, dance like a fucking idiot and shoot somebody…but, you know, nobody’s perfect”

  13. Yeah…that is really bad. He should be MORE responsible than the average guy, who would have lost their license over an identical situation post haste.

  14. An FBI who accidentally shot someone while dancing can’t be around alcohol, but can keep his gun.

    I’m curious… is there any proof that he was actually drinking and not just being an incompetent idiot?

    1. I think the cops gave him a breathalyzer and he blew some obscene blood alcohol level.

  15. I wonder whether in J. Edgar Electrolux’s day he would have been given a pat on the head and sent back to work.

    OTOH it says the FBI has yet to say what discipline is in store for him.

  16. Liberals NEVER intend for its goon squad to be subject to the rules we are. That’s why every one of California’s stupid rules exempts cops.

    1. To bad there’s no privileges and immunities clause in the constitution.

      1. Those are reserved to the king’s men.

  17. Don’t want to be shot like a thug, don’t hang around dancing FBI agents like a thug.

  18. Sure he does ,he is the future FBI director ! ( I hear he is a cross dresser too)

  19. I predict zero outrage from the usual people who are quick to criticize local law enforcement since the FBI should be “independent”

  20. Sounds about right for the FBI.

  21. Kevin Costner should do a biopic about this guy’s life. He could call it “Dances with Guns”.

  22. You mean a guy that broke one of the essential gun safety rules, that being never put your finger on the trigger till you are ready to fire almost killed a man by shooting him in the leg possibly cutting his artery and was lucky enough not to do that now has the retard that survived by chance say i do not want him to lose his job? Seems legit if you do not care about punishing the asshole that almost had you die in a fucking club then you do not deserve to live. So even if he killed you that is fine. You are a waste of space. Hope he finds you and kills you next. Maybe your testament will say that everyone makes mistakes.

  23. Do you know who else was banned from alcohol and liked guns?

  24. When he went to pick up his weapon, he accidentally negligently discharged it into the crowd–


  25. All of you are supposed to be ashamed at your rudeness.

    I am deeply offended by you!

    Especially if I disagree with you!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.