Deputy shoots Bandera County jailer after office prank goes wrong


by KENS 5 Staff

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 8:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 21 at 4:03 PM


What was meant to be a practical joke amongst co-workers has turned a local sheriff's department into a laughing stock of sorts.

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A jailer was shot early Sunday at a Bandera County facility, the sheriff's office reported.

Around 5 a.m., two dispatchers at a new jail facility on Highway 173 reportedly heard noise coming from a nearby hallway. They investigated the scene and found nothing.

But, when they heard the noise again, they feared that someone was inside the facility. They asked a deputy to check out the scene, which he did. Officials say Deputy A.J. Griffin had his gun at his side.

Jailer David Spangler -- thinking that the dispatchers had returned, and hoping to play a prank on them -- jumped out from behind a wall. At which point Griffin became startled and fired his weapon, striking the guard.

The bullet from Griffin's gun went through a bone in Spangler's leg. Officials say that once Deputy Griffin realized what had happened, he attempted to administer first aid to the jailer.

Spangler was taken to Wilford Hall, where he underwent one operation, and is currently awaiting a second.

Officials tell KENS 5 they are awaiting Spangler's recovery before they decide whether or not to reprimand the deputy. The Texas Rangers are currently investigating the incident.