Rookie SF police officer accidentally shoots himself to death John Cote, Chronicle Staff Writer (08-13) 10:27 PDT SAN MATEO -- An off-duty San Francisco rookie police officer died after he accidentally shot himself during a party at his San Mateo apartment over the weekend, authorities said today. James Gustafson, 23, of San Mateo died early Saturday. The circumstances surrounding the shooting are under investigation, San Mateo County coroner Robert Foucrault said. "I believe he was at a party and sometime during the party the weapon was produced and discharged," Foucrault said. San Mateo police responded to a report of gunshot in the 100 block of El Camino Real at 1:40 a.m. and found Gustafson wounded in his apartment. "The victim was at home with friends when the tragic accident occurred," police Capt. Kevin Raffaelli said in a statement. "The victim was in possession of his firearm when he accidentally discharged it, striking himself." It was unclear whether the gun was Gustafson's service weapon, Foucrault said. "It was a tragic death, to say the least," he said. E-mail John Cote at [email protected]. --- Playing with/showing off his loaded weapon at a party? sounds like he might be a darwin contender.