A man who lives behind a Palo Alto elementary school has been arrested for allegedly shooting a BB gun and striking a child, Palo Alto police said in a statement Friday.
Police say the neighbor's action was not accidental.
A student on the Stratford School campus was playing on an athletic field during lunch on Sept. 3 when the child was struck in the back with a BB that was allegedly shot from an air rifle by the neighbor. The school is located at 870 N. California Ave.
The incident occurred at about 12:28 p.m. The child suffered minor injuries and didn't require medical attention. The BB did not penetrate the child's clothing, according to the police press release. The department stated it would not release any further information regarding the victim, including the child's gender.
Officers contacted the neighbor and placed him under arrest without incident at about 1:56 p.m. They recovered the air rifle from his home. His motive is under investigation.
"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," police said in the statement.
Stratford School staff worked closely with officers and kept the students sheltered indoors until about 2 p.m. Police also notified staff at the Palo Alto Unified School District. Greene Middle School is located nearby but was not impacted by the incident, police said.
The 62-year-old man was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail for two felonies: assault with a deadly weapon and child abuse, and one misdemeanor, creating a disruption on a school campus.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.
Editor's Note: Palo Alto Online's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.