Off-duty Colton police officer dies after accidentally shooting himself, authorities say
Colton police officer Christopher P. Bouchard, 39, was off-duty when he died in his home
PANAMA CITY — Christopher P. Bouchard, 39, was one of two Panama City police officers who had just returned from a funeral when they accidentally shot him, according to police and the U.S. attorney’s office.
Bouchard, who had served for four years as a police officer with the Panama City Police Department, was called to his home on the 5500 block of South Lake Street shortly after 2:30 p.m. Monday and told he had to go to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his head, Colton Police Chief John W. Fike said.
“He was in the kitchen doing dishes… and a bullet was shot out of his window,” Fike said. He said the bullet went through his hand and into the wall of the family room, but that he did not know whether the bullet went into his head or neck. Bouchard was treated by police for about five hours at the hospital, he said, then was taken to the Lee Memorial Hospital for a follow-up evaluation.
“He was in the hospital for several hours and then transferred to a local doctor,” Fike said. “He spent the following night in the hospital.”
The doctor, an otolaryngologist, who performed the evaluation, said Bouchard did not suffer a skull fracture, but did suffer a gun shot wound to the head, Fike said. The wound could have been prevented if Bouchard had just stayed in one place, Fike said.
“Instead of going to the window, he just turned to his left and the bullet went through his hand into the wall,” Fike said. “He was lucky he didn’t shoot the bullet in his face because that would have