Accidental shooting outside nightclub sends Oak Harbor sailor to jail

The sailor who accidentally shot himself and a woman in a parking lot scuffle outside of Oak Harbor's Element Nightclub is going to jail for 30 days.

Vincent Harrison, a 26-year-old Oak Harbor resident, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Monday to attempted assault in the second degree. Under a plea bargain, a second charge of third-degree assault was dismissed.

Colleen Kenimond, the chief criminal deputy with Island County Prosecutor's Office, said she and the defense attorney agreed that Harrison should receive a first-time offender waiver, which allows the court to impose a sentence below the standard range.

Judge Alan Hancock agreed that the sentence recommendation was appropriate and ruled that Harrison should spend 30 days in jail and pay court costs as well as restitution, which is to be determined.

Kenimond said she agreed to the plea bargain because it avoids a major trial with at least 40 witnesses. Also, Harrison was badly injured when he shot himself in the abdomen.

"The fact of the matter is, he punished himself worse than we could ever do," she said.

Harrison doesn't have to report to jail for a month, Kenimond said, because he still has staples in his body from surgery.

In court Monday, Harrison apologized and acknowledged that his actions were stupid.

The report on the incident, written by Oak Harbor Detective Carl Seim, states that the alcohol-fueled fight began inside the Element club on SE Bayshore Drive in the early morning hours of Feb. 3. Harrison and a 21-year-old man got into a verbal argument after Harrison apparently bumped into him, but the altercation was broken up.

After the club closed down, another argument erupted in the parking lot between Harrison and the other man. Harrison pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the man, but then dropped it. After Harrison picked up the gun, his friends pushed him away and the gun went off.

Seim wrote that the 9 mm bullet went through Harrison's abdomen, exited through his right buttock and went through the thigh of a 26-year-old woman. The woman didn't immediately realize she had been shot and ran off when she saw Harrison point the gun toward the car.

When police arrived, they found another woman unconscious from intoxication inside the car. Seim wrote that he executed a search warrant on the car and found three handguns inside.

Harrison had to be transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was hospitalized for nearly three weeks. The woman was transported to Whidbey General Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Harrison is a sailor in the Navy with VAQ-134. The woman is with VAQ-129.

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