Man arrested after accidentally shooting self near school

A 70-year-old man was arrested in Oak Harbor today for accidentally shooting himself in the leg while on the premises of Broad View Elementary School, according to Oak Harbor police.

The man didn’t seek medical attention or even tell officers about his wound until jailers noticed it, according to Mike Bailey, acting police captain.

Oak Harbor police officers arrested the suspect, Rex Franz, on suspicion of reckless endangerment. He may also face a charge for bringing a firearm on school premises, a violation of RCW 9.41.300, according to Bailey.

Both charges are gross misdemeanors.

Just before 2 p.m., a witness reported seeing a man accidentally discharge a gun near the school. The witness thought the man likely shot himself since he fell down as the gun went off, Bailey said.

The man got into a blue SUV with a woman and a child and drove off.

Bailey said he didn’t know whether the man had been inside the school with the gun.

Officer Nathan Padrta, the school resource officer, located the vehicle and Franz at Island Cafe. Franz was cooperative. At the jail, an officer noticed what looked like blood around a hole in the man’s pants and discovered he’d been shot. An ambulance was called and the man was transported to the hospital.

Bailey described the gun as an old .38-caliber.

Oak Harbor school district officials emailed alerts — including an update — on the incident to school staff and parents.

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