Police Arrest Man for Shooting Air Rifle onto School Campus

Published on September 03, 2021

Palo Alto, CA A juvenile on a school campus received minor injuries after being struck by a BB fired from an air rifle by an adult neighbor of the school.  The victim did not require medical attention.  Police arrested the suspect and booked him into jail.

On Friday, September 3, 2021 at about 12:28 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from staff at Stratford School at 870 North California Avenue that a student reported they had just been struck in the back with a BB while on the school athletic fields during lunch.  Police responded immediately and learned that the suspect was a local neighbor who had been seen looking over his fence immediately prior to the incident.  Only one shot was fired.  The student, who is elementary school-aged, did not require medical attention and the BB did not penetrate their clothing.  No additional information on the victim will be released, to include their gender.

Officers contacted the neighbor in question at his home, and after follow-up investigation, placed him under arrest without incident at about 1:56 p.m.  Police recovered the air rifle from his home.  While police have reason to believe the suspect intentionally discharged the air rifle and intended to strike a student, there is no reason to believe the suspect intentionally targeted this particular student.  The suspect fired the air rifle from his backyard, over the fence that separates his home from the school.  The motive behind the suspect’s actions remains under investigation.

Staff at Stratford School worked in close collaboration with police and elected to keep their students indoors until about 2:00 p.m. out of an abundance of caution.  Police also gave a courtesy notification to staff at the Palo Alto Unified School District, as Greene Middle School is located nearby but was not impacted by this incident.

Police booked 62-year-old Palo Alto resident Bradford Minkoff at the Santa Clara County Main Jail for assault with a deadly weapon (felony), child abuse (felony), and creating a disruption on a school campus (misdemeanor).  His booking photo is attached to this release.

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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