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Tallahassee Residents Exposed to Tear Gas

Tear gas apparently wafted into a nearby neighborhood, prompting tears, bloody noses and upset stomachs.

Lynette Davis says she heard a loud bang Thursday night, and within a few minutes her children were yelling for help.

Lynette says, "My little boy ran into the house and said his mouth was burning, it felt like it was on fire. I thought he bumped his head or something. Then he ran outside and started throwing up and then my oldest son came back in and said he couldn't breathe."

Lynette and her neighbors off Blountstown Road called 9-1-1 and deputies responded to what they thought was a possible hazardous materials incident. Soon it became clear that tear gas from a Tallahassee police training exercise had floated into their neighborhood.

The police TAC team was practicing maneuvers in an abandoned house about 100 yards away and one of the officers deployed his tear gas canister.

CAPT Kelly Burke with the Tallahassee Police Department says, "It was not a part of the planned training exercise, however, we do know one canister was deployed and released and we have an investigation underway to determine exactly why that happened."

Lynette says, "We thought we were under terrorist attack or something, but it wasn't."

Eleven people on the street complained of symptoms like tearing eyes, runny noses and upset stomachs. No one was hospitalized, but Lynette Davis says Thursday night was surely scary.

CAPT Burke says the officer involved could face disciplinary action, but right now the internal affairs unit is investigating to determine exactly what happened and how to keep it from happening again.


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