School Resource Officer Fatally Shot Himself on Campus

School Resource Officer Fatally Shot Himself on Campus

The campus was placed on lockdown and students were kept away from the area, according to Peach. It is possible that students might have heard the gunshot, she said, but no students are believed to have witnessed what happened.

A Baltimore County police officer working as a school resource officer fatally shot himself on campus Monday at Eastern Technical High School in Essex, Maryland, police said. Officer Joseph Comegna, a 21-year veteran of the police force, was pronounced dead after he was taken to the hospital for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to police spokeswoman Jennifer Peach, school faculty heard a sound from Comenga’s basement office at 12:23 p.m. and found him alone inside with a gunshot wound. Peach said his service weapon was found with him and investigators believe he used it to shoot himself.

Footage from security surveillance cameras confirmed that Comegna entered his office alone, Peach said. He was wearing a body camera, but police do not believe it was turned on at the time.

The department first reported that the officer suffered an unknown “medical emergency.”

The campus was placed on lockdown and students were kept away from the area, according to Peach. It is possible that students might have heard the gunshot, she said, but no students are believed to have witnessed what happened.

Students were dismissed at the normal time, but all after-school and evening activities were canceled that day, Baltimore County Public Schools said. No students or other staff were injured in the incident.

Peach said the investigation was ongoing but the school was expected to open Tuesday. She could not provide any information regarding possible motives.

Interim schools Superintendent Verletta White expressed condolences to the officer’s family and the school in a statement.

“I am saddened to learn about the death of Officer Joseph Comegna, the school resource officer at Eastern Technical High,” she said. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Baltimore County Police Department, and Eastern Tech’s students and staff. We will be sure to have a traumatic loss team at the school to support students and staff Tuesday.”

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Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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