NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A former state police firearms instructor pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless endangerment in a firearms training accident that killed a trooper.
Richard Schroeter, 43, of Royersford, was conducting a training session Sept. 30 and pulled the trigger while discussing his weapon's mechanism. The gun discharged, killing 26-year-old Trooper David Kedra.
Defense attorney Timothy Woodward told reporters that his client had retired from the force earlier this year and pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts because he wanted to accept responsibility.
Schroeter is "devastated that something like this happened," Woodward said. "Certainly it was unintentional. It was accidental."
Woodward said the former state police corporal is a decorated trooper and will have "no shortage" of people appear on his behalf when he is sentenced.
Kedra, who joined state police in 2012, was assigned to the Skippack barracks.
A grand jury was asked to consider charges of homicide and involuntary manslaughter but only found sufficient evidence for the reckless endangerment counts.
Relatives of the victim had expressed disappointment about the charges, and Deputy District Attorney Samantha Cauffman said Tuesday that the family looks forward to speaking at sentencing.
"Nothing is ever going to make this better for them," Cauffman said.