Haines Borough police officer Brayton Long can’t or won’t say how he shot himself during a firearms training session on Jan. 5.

In interviews with reporters last week that included police and borough officials, Long said troopers are still investigating the incident. “Until that investigation comes to light, it’s kind of confidential at this point,” Long said.

When asked what he personally thought went wrong, Long couldn’t say. “It’s just an accident, you know. Things happen. Every job has an opportunity for an accident. We deal with dangerous tools. I mean, driving a car is a dangerous weapon in the eyes of the law. So, if I crashed a car, there is going to be an investigation,” he said.

Long, 52, said he isn’t as much embarrassed by accidentally shooting himself as he is angry.

“It sucks,” Long said. “You’re not happy about it because you shoot for years and do all kinds of tactical training in the Navy Reserves and in other police work that I’ve done and courses of fire I’ve gone through where you’re moving and communicating with other officers on the move, and then you have an accident with a gun. Yeah, it’s not pleasant.”

Long shot himself in the lower left arm with a Glock 21 during training at the Haines Sportsman’s Association rifle range on Mud Bay Road. The training, conducted by Alaska State Troopers, was a timed qualification course officers complete quarterly.

Long said he takes training seriously and that there wasn’t any “horsing around” or other misconduct involved. “No, there wasn’t any of that stuff. Not like you see on YouTube and stuff where people are messing around with guns and looking down the barrel and stuff like that,” he said.

Sgt. Josh Dryden, who was present at the time of the accident, said he also didn’t know how it occurred. “It was an accident,” Dryden said. “I don’t know how to answer that.”

Dryden said he wasn’t “going to blow smoke” and try to make up an explanation. It wasn’t a question of the safety being off at the wrong time, because a Glock 21 doesn’t have a safety, he said.

Dryden said Long will get a refresher course on some of the basics of firearm handling. “I’m confident in his ability to do the job, after speaking with him,” Dryden said.

State troopers Matt Hightower of Juneau and Andrew Neason of Haines were at the training when the accident occurred.

Long was shooting at a silhouette target at the three yard line when the accident happened. The bullet cleared his arm, leaving a hole.

“It went all the way through. I wasn’t totally knowledgeable that it went all the way through at the time, because I applied pressure immediately,” he said. “(The hole) is not like the movies where you can look through it to the other bad guy behind.”

Long said he doesn’t think the accident damages perception of the department’s competence or his credibility as an officer. “I don’t think it reflects anything negative on the department, because it just shows the professionalism that an accident happened, we dealt with it, we’re moving forward. I don’t think there is any concern whatsoever,” he said.

Long is expected to make a full recovery. He will be working on limited duty until doctors clear him to go back on patrol.

Trooper Neason said his investigation is still open. “On its face, it appears to be an unintentional shooting,” he said.

Beyond determining if there was a criminal element to the shooting, troopers are not really involved, Neason said.

Long has been with the department since late November.