At approximately 6 p.m. Thursday evening, Sept. 13, a former Stamford High School sports star who went on to play at West Point died in a tragic accident while fooling around with a handgun, Stamford Capt. Richard Conklin said Friday.
Marcus Dixon, 22, was homeless before being adopted by the McInerney family on Haviland Road at 15. He had just moved with a roommate two weeks prior to the residence in the 800 block of Stillwater Road where the tragedy occurred.
"This is a very tragic type of situation," Conklin said. "This is a very shocking type of situation."
Conklin said Dixon was sitting with two friends and messing around with the gun. He said the mood was described as light and everyone was laughing. Conklin believes Dixon was under the impression the handgun was rendered safe when the magazine was ejected.
"Many semiautomatic handguns are safe when the magazine is ejected," Conklin said, explaining the Magazine Disconnect Safety that will stop a handgun from firing if the magazine is ejected. "That is not so with a Glock. With one in the chamber, it will still fire."
At some point in the conversation, after ejecting the magazine, Dixon pointed the weapon at his own head and pulled the trigger.
"The type of wound sustained would have killed him instantly," Conklin said.
Conklin said in order for Dixon to have owned the handgun, for which he had a permit, he would have had to pass an NRA safety course. Conklin noted Dixon would have also received additional firearms training at West Point.
"It's an ongoing investigation, but right now we're leaning toward accidental shooting," he said.
Dixon was in possession of a Complete Health & Injury Prevention (C.H.I.P.) card, which is used to signify someone with an interest in Connecticut law enforcement has passed the physical portion of the hiring regiment.