BSO deputy surrenders in off-duty shooting

Kevin McClernon, 51, accused of shooting man while off-duty

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy accused of shooting and injuring a man inside a Hollywood home last year turned himself in to authorities on Monday.

BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said Kevin McClernon, 51, turned himself in at 2 p.m. at the Broward County Main Jail.

According to authorities, McClernon was partying with 54-year-old Michael Hinsch's girlfriend, Lori Babb, at Hinsch's apartment. Hinsch said that when he came home at about 8:45 p.m. he found McClernon in uniform, with his gun belt on his TV stand, drinking Budweiser with Babb.

"There was a cop sitting there drinking a beer," Hinsch told Local 10 News last January. "I asked him to leave. I didn't get loud or anything. Apparently he was drunk and he shot me."

Babb, who said McClernon is an old friend, also said the shooting was unprovoked. She said she had beers at the Dania Beach Grill with McClernon earlier in the day and that Hinsch went home and changed into uniform before his shift at the Pembroke Park substation before returning to pick her up. She said McClernon gave her cash to buy a six-pack of beer to drink at the apartment on Wiley Street that she and Hinsch share.

Hinsch said after telling McClernon to leave, McClernon pulled out his gun.

"He had it out of his holster. I'm thinking to myself, what on earth is he pulling it out for?" said Hinsch. "I said, 'Is that a Glock?' He goes, 'Yeah.' I said, 'Is that a nine or a 40?' And he said, 'It's a nine,' and [pulled the trigger]."

Hinsch said that after the shooting, the deputy offered no assistance.

"He poked his head in the door. I said, 'Dude, you got to call an ambulance or something,'" said Hinsch. "He just looked at me, lit a cigarette and walked away."

Hinsch, a construction worker, said he felt lucky to be alive.

"It was a well-placed shot," said Hinsch. "It was right near the groin, just missed my femoral artery. I think he was hoping I would bleed out. I'm an old soldier, I know these things. It exited, missed my sciatic nerve and my femur."

McClernon, a former BSO training deputy of the year and lieutenant colonel in the Marines, has been suspended with pay since the incident. On Friday, BSO suspended McClernon without pay.

On Monday, Sheriff Scott Israel released a statement: "I'm pleased this case went to the grand jury, and I respect the grand jury's decision to file a true bill in this matter. Clearly, McClernon was not acting in a law enforcement capacity when he fired his gun. His behavior was criminal. While the majority of law enforcement officers uphold their oath of office with honor, there must be consequences for those who break the law."

McClernon is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and culpable negligence/exposure to harm.

He is being held in jail on $52,000 bond.

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