Jared Forsyth’s father speaks out about son’s accidental death
(WKMG.COM) OCALA, Fla. – The father of an Ocala police officer shot and killed after a training exercise on Monday says he holds no hard feelings over his son’s death.
Officer Jared Forsyth died soon after being accidentally shot by a fellow officer’s gun, which was being cleaned out at the time.
The officers were participating in training at a gun range just north of Ocala.
Timothy Haley — a retired Pasco County firefighter — says his son grew up wanting to be a police officer, and he knew it came with risks.
“We had talked about it at length,” Haley told Local 6. “We talked about it over family dinners. We mentioned it on Easter Sunday before he left. This job that we all choose to do can take any one of us.”
Haley said Forsyth responded, “not me, dad.”
Haley said he knew something was wrong when Ocala police cars drove into his driveway Monday evening.
They brought him to the hospital, where he and his family waited for word.
“The surgeons came over to speak to us. They simply told us they had him back for a while, but the bullet had just done too much damage. They lost him. That’s how it went,” he said.
Right now, the Ocala Police Department is investigating to see if proper procedures were followed during the semi-annual training.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also investigating.
Haley says he’s concerned about the officer whose gun went off.
“Do not let there be a second victim of this terrible accident,” he said. “Take care of this officer that had nothing more than a mistake happened to him.”
Forsyth’s mother will arrive in Ocala on Wednesday to finish arranging a memorial service that will take place here.
She will then take her son’s body back to New York with her, where he will be buried.