Accidental Discharge of Firearm in Parked Vehicle Wounds Two

Published on May 12, 2022

Palo Alto, CA A man accidentally discharged a firearm while in his parked truck overnight, shooting one round that passed through his hand and struck another occupant of the vehicle in the leg.  Both men received medical treatment for their injuries, and police will send the case to the District Attorney’s Office for review for any applicable charges.

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, at about 12:17 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from Stanford Hospital reporting that two patients had just arrived with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.  Both men reported they had been victims of an armed robbery that had occurred about 30 minutes earlier in the parking lot of the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real, and driven themselves to the hospital for help.

The ensuing investigation revealed that there had been no robbery.  Instead, the men had been sitting in their truck, a white 1999 Toyota Tacoma, in the parking lot of the Stanford Shopping Center and smoking marijuana together.  One of the men was manipulating a handgun when he accidentally discharged the weapon.  The bullet traveled through his hand and struck the other man in the leg.  They then drove themselves to the hospital for help.  Both men underwent treatment for their injuries, which are not life-threatening.

Police located a bloodied, loaded handgun under the driver’s seat of the truck.  The firearm did not have a serial number.

Police will be sending the case to the District Attorney’s Office for review for any applicable charges.  Charges could include false report of a crime (misdemeanor), carrying a concealed weapon (misdemeanor or felony), possession of a self-assembled firearm without a serial number (misdemeanor), and negligent discharge of a firearm (misdemeanor or felony).  As no arrests have been made, police are not identifying either man by name.  Should either man ultimately be arrested as a result of this incident, police will release their information to the public at that time.  Both men are adults in their teens.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

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