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Why no criminal charges for detective who left gun in theater bathroom?

6:03 PM, Jun 19, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- The mistake of leaving a loaded semi-automatic handgun inside a bathroom stall at the Ybor City Muvico theater could cost detective Luke Hussey his job. But the 38-year-old will not face criminal charges despite what police told 10 News on Monday.

"We believe that this would meet the standard of willful and want in disregard and safety of others -- to leave a loaded weapon where a child, and in this case a 9-year-old, found the gun," Tampa Police Spokesperson Laura McElroy told 10 News on Monday before the gun owner was identified.

But late Tuesday police said they would not pursue charges after it was revealed the gun was owned by Hussey.

Today, McElroy told 10 News the decision not to pursue charges against Hussey has nothing to do with his role as a Hillsborough County Sheriff's detective.

"It was always our goal to ensure the person who left the gun face appropriate consequences for that action. There is no doubt that will happen within this organization," McElroy wrote in an email.

HCSO Spokesperson Larry McKinnon says an administrative review to determine what type of punishment Hussey could receive will likely take several weeks. He says the punishment could be anything from a letter of reprimand to being terminated.

"As you can imagine he's very upset over it. He knows that it was a mistake, he's a stellar employee," McKinnon added.

A review of Hussey's personnel file by 10 News shows the 13-year veteran of the HSCO was issued a letter of reprimand last year for failing to respond to a scheduled deposition at the Public Defender's Office. But otherwise, his 278-page file mostly contains glowing reviews by his supervisors. It also includes 10 certificates of Commendation, including one for catching a group of purse snatchers and another letter for helping to arrest a group of burglars responsible for an armed home invasion.

One supervisor said in his 2005 review that Hussey is "attentive and proactive to all facets of his duties and police work making him very effective at serving the community."

Hussey, while off-duty, left his personal Glock 26 on top of a toilet paper dispenser inside of a men's bathroom at the Centro Ybor Muvico on Father's Day. The loaded gun was found by a 9-year-old boy.

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