Firearms instructor recovering after shooting himself www.privateofficer.com
CALEDONIA WI Dec 15 2011 — A firearms instructor is recovering this week after shooting himself in the leg in Caledonia while training a group of security staff for a shuttered northern Illinois nuclear power plant.
Firearms trainer Anthony “Tony” Scalzo, 40, of Antioch, Ill., was treated and released from Aurora Hospital in Kenosha last week after he reportedly shot himself in the leg sometime before 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Caledonia police reports. The incident occurred at Shooter’s Sports Center, 4900 6 Mile Road, while Scalzo was training more than a dozen security staff from Securitas — who work for the decommissioned Zion Nuclear Station, police reports stated.
The gun went off while in Scalzo’s holster during transition training, police reports stated. The security crews were transferring to semi-automatic weapons like Glocks from using revolvers, a Shooter’s employee told police after staff learned of the shooting 30 minutes after the group left.
“Our weapons instructor was conducting mandatory training for new hires as required by the (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission). There were only 5 officers on the range at one time and a total of 14 in the class,” Lynne Glovka, director of marketing communications for Securitas Security Services USA, based in Chicago, said Tuesday night.
Scalzo was treated for the self-inflicted gunshot wound and released from the hospital, Glovka said.
Messages were left Tuesday at the firearm trainer’s Antioch home, but he couldn’t be reached for comment.
“There has never been an injury at the range previously, and this incident was viewed as an ‘equipment failure’ since the weapon discharged after it was cleared of a jam and replaced in his holster,” Glovka stated.
Police were notified of the shooting by Aurora Hospital staff, police reports stated, as is required for patients seeking treatment for gunshot wounds.
“A security officer, contracted to ZionSolutions at the Zion Nuclear Station, received a minor injury to his leg while participating in a firearms training exercise. No other persons were involved or injured in the incident,” according to a statement from ZionSolutions, sent Tuesday to The Journal Times.
John Rzasa, security operations supervisor for ZionSolutions, told police that Scalzo’s wound “was just a graze” and he would “probably put a Band-Aid on it,” according to Caledonia police reports.
Police later learned that the bullet wound was a “through-and-through,” meaning the bullet passed straight through the flesh and didn’t become lodged in Scalzo’s body.
The nuclear plant, located in unincorporated Lake County near Zion, entered the years-long decomissioning process in September 2010 after Exelon Corporation transferred the facility license to EnergySolutions Inc, according to Exelon. ZionSolutions is a subsidiary of EnergySolutions, and was formed specifically to handle the 10-year, $1 billion decommissioning of the nuclear plant, according to ZionSolutions.
Located about 42 miles south of Milwaukee, the nuclear plant sits along the shores of Lake Michigan, near Illinois Beach State Park.
The plant’s estimated closure date is Dec. 31, 2020, according to the NRC.