Police officer Dominic Gaynor sentenced for pointing gun at colleague over spoilers for Top Gun film

A police officer cried as he revealed he felt “overwhelming shock and fear” when a colleague pointed a gun at him and threatened to shoot him if he revealed the ending of a blockbuster Hollywood film.

Constable Dominic Gaynor appeared in Sydney Downing Centre Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to carrying a firearm in a manner likely to endanger the safety of another person.

The court documents reveal he was working at Day St Police Station on the evening of May 29 when two other police officers started a conversation about the film Top Gun 2: Maverick.

A probationary constable, who had seen the film the previous night, told Gaynor, “I’ll spoil it for you.”

“Don’t spoil the movie, c**t,” Gaynor replied while laughing.

“I’ll shoot you.”

He then took his police-issued Glock firearm out of its holster and pointed it at his colleague.

The constable held the gun stationary for five seconds so the junior officer could see the front and rear sights of the gun.

Gaynor’s finger was on the receiver and not the trigger, and he was laughing as he brandished the gun.

The victim was very frightened to have a live firearm pointed at him, and he froze.

He reported the incident to his superiors two days later and an investigation was launched.

On Thursday, the victim cried as he told the court he felt “overwhelming shock and fear” when he found himself “staring down the barrel of a gun” at the police station.

He said being threatened by a colleague whom he needed to rely on at his place of work made him depressed, anxious and hypervigilant.

The probationary constable worried that he would receive backlash for breaching the police brotherhood and “dobbing on a colleague” or he wouldn’t be believed.

He told the court he experienced vivid nightmares of being shot and killed by Gaynor and slipped into a “deep depression” with thoughts of suicide.

After wanting to be a police officer for a long time, the junior officer said he now found it difficult to trust his colleagues.

“I’ve completely lost the trust I had and my previous admiration for the NSW Police Force,” he said.

“When I see a police officer now, I feel compelled to watch them and check their hand isn’t on their firearm.”

The victim told the court that he had never received an apology from Gaynor, who continued to work in the same police station alongside him.

“It frustrates, saddens and angers me that I have suffered so much,” the junior officer said.

“I continue to worry the impact of this crime will stay with me forever.”

Gaynor’s lawyer Chris Micali acknowledged the impact on the victim while noting his client was a “fantastic member of the police force” who is “well regarded”.

“This is a case where skylarking and tomfoolery in an employment context has gone awry,” he said.

“He understands his misuse of his weapon could have had serious consequences.”

Mr Micali asked for leniency for Gaynor, who he said had demonstrated “remorse and insight” into his offending.

“This will cost him dearly,” he said of a possible conviction.

Magistrate Michael Maher will hand down his decision on Thursday afternoon.

A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed Gaynor remained suspended with pay.

Originally published as Cop sentenced for pointing gun at colleague over Top Gun spoilers

Cristeen Gonzama

Cristeen Gonzales writes about health and medicine. She tends toward stories that reveal the on-the-ground impact of health policy, with a particular focus on the opioid epidemic, Covid-19 and abortion.

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