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A Hancock County deputy who accidentally shot himself while cleaning a gun at his Bayside Park home has died, Sheriff Ricky Adam said.

Adam identified him Wednesday as Deputy John Schmidt, 65, a former NOPD officer and Rummel High School teacher who had been hired as a part-time deputy on Dec. 18.

Schmidt died of a gunshot wound to the chest, Adam said in a news release.

Sheriff’s officials had confirmed the shooting Tuesday night but had not identified Schmidt by name or as a deputy.

First responders were called to his home on West Newtown Street about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

An American Medical Response ambulance crew drove him to Hancock Medical Center, and a Flight Care helicopter flew him to the University Medical Center in New Orleans, Adam said.

An initial investigation shows he was cleaning a personal firearm when the gun discharged, Adam said.

Schmidt's Facebook page says he worked at Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie as a teacher and tennis coach from 2000 to 2017.

A graduate of East Jefferson High School and the University of New Orleans, Schmidt was running a tennis academy when he applied to become a New Orleans police officer in 1997. He served only 2 1/2 years as an officer in New Orleans, leaving in late 1999, civil service records show. The records do not say why he left.

Schmidt had joined the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department a little more than two weeks ago and was working to get reserve certification, the sheriff said.

For the original story from The (Biloxi) Sun Herald, click here.