News

Police: Man shot air rifle intending to hit a student

Elementary school child was struck in the back by a BB in Palo Alto; neighbor arrested

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.

Stock photo courtesy Getty Images.

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.

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"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.

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Police: Man shot air rifle intending to hit a student

Elementary school child was struck in the back by a BB in Palo Alto; neighbor arrested

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Sep 3, 2021, 7:41 pm

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.

Comments

Jody Metzger
Registered user
another community
on Sep 4, 2021 at 8:06 am
Jody Metzger, another community
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 8:06 am

While some real estate agents embellish their listed residential properties as being 'close to schools' some residents find living too close to an elementary school particularly noisy, especially when school is in session and during recess or lunch periods.

The man who discharged his BB gun was most likely agitated and used extremely poor judgement.

Now he is in jail and rightfully so.


Citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2021 at 9:02 am
Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 9:02 am

Was the man in plain sight? Was there an attempt to terrorize the children by aiming a gun at them in plain sight?

The school has been there a really long time and anyone living in that neighborhood could afford a pair of noise cancelling headphones if they don’t like the sounds of children playing. No, I can’t think of any benign explanations, and hope the DA will handle this with an eye toward preventing any more serious incidents in the future. Let’s hope they’ve already gotten a warrant to search for other weapons.


JonnyK
Registered user
Ventura
on Sep 4, 2021 at 10:34 am
JonnyK, Ventura
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 10:34 am

Clearly, some sort of mental breakdown. Hope he can get some help.

BTW: Bradford is/was a stage actor and singer. He toured in the CATS production for years.


Janice Campbell
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2021 at 11:36 am
Janice Campbell, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 11:36 am

An angry elder citizen who was being deprived of the quietness required for an afternoon nap?


John Donegan
Registered user
another community
on Sep 4, 2021 at 12:38 pm
John Donegan, another community
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Taking "you kids get off my lawn!" to a whole new level.


Ellen
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 4, 2021 at 3:22 pm
Ellen, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 3:22 pm

The suspect attended that elementary school as a child. It was Garland Elementary School then.


Paige O'Neill
Registered user
Professorville
on Sep 4, 2021 at 4:07 pm
Paige O'Neill, Professorville
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 4:07 pm

Taking BB gun potshots at schoolchildren during their lunchtime/recess is indicative of a troubled mind.


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