DA declines to file case against deputy whose daughter died in accidental shooting

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The District Attorney’s Office will not file charges against a deputy whose toddler accidentally shot herself in April. On Friday, Karin Bjork, supervising deputy district attorney for Placer County, said she could not reach the conclusion that deputy Kenneth Skogen acted in a grossly negligent manner in his storage of firearms in his Roseville home. At about 5 p.m. April 20, Skogen was inside his garage cleaning two rifles, Bjork said. At the same time his 3-year-old daughter, Kalli, was playing in one of the two vehicles parked inside the garage. According to Bjork, Skogen temporarily had his back turned to his gun storage safe when Kalli reached into the safe and took out a Springfield Armory .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. “The evidence shows that Kalli would have had to use her thumbs to pull the trigger as the gun was pointing at her and she was possibly holding the weapon upside down against her body,” Bjork said. The single shot went through the right side of her abdomen. Skogen immediately called 911. Kalli died while being transported via air ambulance to an area hospital. Bjork said after reviewing police reports, which included interviews, officer observations, listening to 911 tapes, reviewing photographs of the scene and the autopsy report, the District Attorney’s Office decided not to file any charges against Skogen. Bjork said the office’s main charge was to determine whether Skogen violated a law regarding negligent storage of firearms. “Gross negligence is more than inattention, mistaken judgment or misadventure,” Bjork said. “After thoroughly reviewing all of the available facts, there is no evidence that Mr. Skogen acted in a grossly negligent manner.” Bjork said the evidence showed that Skogen kept all of his firearms, including his work-issued weapons, stored in a locked gun safe in the garage. Bjork said she did not think Skogen was a threat to public safety. “There is no punishment that a court could ever impose against him that would equal the loss of his daughter,” Bjork added. “Mr. Skogen is not a career criminal who needs to be steered toward leading a crime-free life, and society will be safe without having him incarcerated,” Bjork said. “We also believe that the publicity about Kalli’s tragic death will accomplish more in regard to deterring unsafe gun storage than would any incarceration of Mr. Skogen.”