Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher arrested for leaving loaded gun in public bathroom

Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 16:34:31-04

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – A teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been charged after a man found his gun in a public restroom Sunday and fired it, according to authorities.

Sean Simpson, 43, a chemistry teacher at the Florida school where 17 students were shot to death on Feb. 14, faces once count of unsafe storage of a firearm, court records show.

Simpson is accused of forgetting to take his Glock 9mm with him when he left a bathroom at the Deerfield Beach Pier. After he walked out, a drunk homeless man found it in a stall and fired it once into a wall, according to a Broward County Sheriff’s Office report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. Simpson ran back into the bathroom after hearing the shot and grabbed the weapon from the other man, Joseph Spataro, who now faces charges of firing a weapon while intoxicated and trespassing, the paper reports.

In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Simpson said he’d be willing to carry a gun while working at the school, according to the Miami Herald.

“Would I have been able to stop this gentleman with a semiautomatic weapon? I’m not sure. Would I have liked to have had the opportunity? I’m not sure I would know the answer. Maybe,” he said during an interview with MSNBC. “some of us are willing to take training if it was offered to be another line of defense.”

When WPLG reached out to ask about his arrest, Simpson only said that he didn’t think he broke any school board rules. No one was hurt during Sunday’s incident, and deputies later found the bullet inside one of the blocks of the concrete wall.

Court records show Simpson was released after posting a $250 bond.