After a 3 week investigation, the Lubbock Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives believe they know why an explosive device detonated while Midland Police Officer Sgt. Brian Rackow was dismantling it.
The ATF is calling what happened to Sgt. Rackow a fluke, a complete accident…and why it occurred boils down to friction.
For Sgt. Brian Rackow, June 24th will be a day he will never forget.
"Concern, we're all one big family. He's part of our family. So we're worried and concerned about him," says Deputy Chief JR Smith with MPD.
As Sgt. Rackow recovers the police department and the ATF have both been investigating what went on. According to the ATF here's what happened.
"The Sgt. was cutting into aluminum casing of an oil field split shot charger to remove the linear shaped charge in the casing for destruction. But, apparently friction caused a low-order detonation," explains Special Agent Tom Crowley, Public Information Officer for the ATF Dallas Division.
Crowley says doing this type of work is a normal undertaking for an explosive technician.
"The Sgt. had actually dissembled numerous other charges prior to the accident occurring," says Crowley.
Supporting why the ATF is sure this was an accident and even the most highly trained and experienced officers can be involved in an unexpected event.
"Dealing with explosives, they're very sensitive and it just shows how dangerous this occupation can be and accidents do occur," explains Crowley.
Most of the ATF’s investigation focuses solely on what happened, not so much procedure. Once their investigation is done they let other agencies know what went on.
"Any information that we have or the police department has, we give that out so accidents like that won't happen in the future," says Crowley.
The ATF is done with their investigation. However, MPD is still doing their internal investigation and they will focus more on if Sgt. Rackow follow procedure and do changes need to be made down the road.