GATESVILLE — Jonesboro ISD officials must find a new trainer for district employees who will carry concealed handguns in the Guardian Angel Program after weapons instructor Adam Fitzer was arrested two weeks ago on charges of falsifying governmental documents.
In January, the school board adopted a program to authorize specific district employees to carry firearms on school property.
Fitzer, owner of Texas Weapon Instructors of Gatesville, designed a 10-day training curriculum and was helping Jonesboro ISD buy pistols and ammunition for the program.
Jonesboro Superintendent Matt Dossey said Fitzer was working with the district as a consultant on the Guardian Angel Program but, other than teaching a basic CHL course for district employees in early March, had not done any advanced weapons training for the district.
Dossey said he received a call several weeks ago telling him Fitzer was under investigation. “That is when we started looking at other options, looking for a Plan B,” Dossey said.
More training was set for this summer, but it won’t be with Fitzer on the firing line.
“I am not handling (the Jonesboro program) anymore,” Fitzer said Wednesday. “I have passed it on to another company (run by) a friend of mine.” He declined to name the company, saying only it was based in Houston.
“I know we will be getting another (instructor),” said Roger Hill, a member of the Jonesboro school board. “We don’t know yet who it will be.”
Dossey said Thursday he is working with Evant Superintendent James Slone “in choosing a group we can start working with” for the advance training.
“I don’t know what the deal is (with Fitzer’s charges), but I know first hand there were no corners cut on the CHL class he taught here,” Dossey said. “Those guys were there for 10 hours (in the classroom) and went to the range” to qualify.
DPS begins investigation
In May, the Texas Department of Public Safety launched an investigation of Fitzer based on allegations he failed to comply with concealed-handgun license training requirements and falsified certificate-of-training forms, according to a statement from District Attorney Dusty Boyd.
Fitzer was arrested June 27 and is free on bond.
The case is being screened by the district attorney’s office, Boyd said, and “will be reviewed for presentment to the Coryell County grand jury,” which will convene at the end of the month.
The allegation is a third-degree felony, which carries a penalty of two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
A CHL instructor since July 2011, Fitzer may not have filed the required paperwork with the DPS to conduct the training, according to the investigator’s affidavit.
Fitzer said he is no longer teaching CHL classes.
“I am out of the game,” he said. “I am done with all that (CHL training). I am going to move on to other stuff.”
After a Dec. 14 mass shooting that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Fitzer offered the CHL training free to any school district employee.
The website for Fitzer’s company, Texas Weapon Instructors, has been removed from the Internet.
Contact Tim Orwig at firstname.lastname@example.org