Sean Simpson YouTube screen grab
Sean Simpson YouTube screen grab

News

This Parkland teacher left his gun in a public bathroom. It was loaded, BSO says.

By Madeleine Marr

mmarr@miamiherald.com

April 11, 2018 10:25 PM

Not the most normal sight: a gun left in the bathroom stall.

But that's exactly what went down on Sunday in a men's room at the Deerfield Beach Pier.

The circumstances of how the Glock 9mm got there are unusual.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the weapon was left by Sean Simpson. If his name sounds familiar, he's the teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who said he'd be willing to arm himself while on duty.

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According to the sheriff's office report, Simpson told deputies he'd left his gun by accident. By the time the chemistry teacher realized his mistake, the Glock was already in the hands of a drunk homeless man who had picked it up and fired. The bullet hit a wall.

Simpson was able to grab the gun away from the vagrant, Joseph Spataro, who was charged with firing a weapon while intoxicated and trespassing.

As for the MSD teacher, he was arrested and charged with failing to safely store a firearm, a second-degree misdemeanor. Simpson posted a $250 cash bond and was released.

Students and gun control advocates are marching in South Florida, Washington, D.C., and across the world more than a month after a gunman killed 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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Local 10 reached out to the educator who would not comment but did say carrying a weapon around did not violate school board rules. He continues to be employed and no disciplinary action is expected to be taken, added the station.

On Tuesday, the Broward School Board unanimously rejected the state's new program to arm school staff, part of a new law the Florida Legislature passed after the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school shootings that left 17 students and educators dead.