A man died at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto Thursday morning in a shooting that police believe was self-inflicted.
Palo Alto police received multiple calls at 10 a.m. of a shooting at 600 East Meadow Drive. A man had allegedly shot himself next to a picnic table near the tennis courts, Agent Marianna Villaescusa said. Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department pronounced him dead at the scene.
The man was believed to be older, and police located a weapon near his body, she said.
Officers did a sweep of the area and did not find any other victims. The public is not in danger, she added.
"We believe this is limited to just him," Villaescusa said.
Construction workers who are building the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center said they have often seen an older man sitting at the picnic table while they eat lunch there.
Villaescusa said no witnesses actually saw the shooting, but investigators are talking to a number of people who were in the park.
A park visitor who was about 100 feet away heard the shot. He was sitting at a bench when he heard the gun go off and stood up.
"In between me and the man there was a group of about 10 kids with three camp counselors. They were about 50 feet away. They were 9- or 10-year-olds, and the counselors shooed the kids away," he said.
The witness walked toward the man and called 911, he said.
A private organization running the children's camp has notified the parents and is providing counselors as needed, according to police. Personnel from the Palo Alto Police Department have been working closely with the organization to ensure that counseling occurs.
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. Villaescusa said the cordoned-off area under the redwood trees near the tennis courts would remain closed for at least two hours.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department at 650-329-2413.