The volunteer coach for the Oak Harbor High School’s NJROTC air rifle team is facing charges related to an alleged accidental shooting at a crowded restaurant that injured a fellow diner Jan. 10, according to court documents and the school district.
Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks charged Coupeville resident David A. Goodman, 56, in Island County Superior Court Monday with assault in the third degree and reckless endangerment.
Under the assault charge, which is a felony, Goodman is accused of causing bodily harm with criminal negligence by means of a weapon. It was charged with a firearm enhancement, which would add a mandatory 18 months to the sentence if he’s found guilty.
At about 6:30 p.m., police responded to a report that a gun went off and a person was struck inside Frasers Gourmet Hideaway in downtown Oak Harbor. An officer arrived to find Goodman outside the restaurant with the owner; Goodman told the officer that he had taken the gun off to be safe and “it was an accident,” the officer’s report states.
The officer retrieved the gun, which Goodman, who has a concealed license permit, had placed in his car. Goodman was cooperative and apologetic, the officer wrote.
Inside the restaurant, officers found an 82-year-old woman who had an entry wound on her back and an exit wound on her chest. There was a bullet hole in the window across the table from where the woman was sitting, near where four other women were seated.
One of the woman said she would have been hit in the head if she were taller, the officer wrote.
Another patron said Goodman, had come over to his table to speak with him and he had noticed that the holster on his side was empty. Goodman returned to his table when food arrived and then the gun went off, the man explained.
A woman who was dining with Goodman told a detective that he had his jacket off and thought it would alarm others to see the gun on his hip. When he went to speak with his friend, he set the gun on his chair and pushed the chair in. She said it discharged when he returned and tried to holster the gun.
Based on damage to the chair that was consistent with a bullet tearing through the fabric, however, detectives determined that the gun was in contact with the chair when it went off, a police report states.
The officer didn’t detect the odor of alcohol on Goodman, the report states.
Goodman was arrested and released.
The injured woman, who was awake and alert, was transported to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center and then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
People in the restaurant, including the woman, did not immediately realize anyone had been shot.
In a later interview with a detective, the woman said she didn’t feel a lot of pain but “just felt very, very heavy, very wooden in that part of her body.”
School district staff heard about the incident and reached out to Goodman, who teaches gun safety as part of his position. Goodman’s attorney responded that his client would not be speaking with the district about the matter.
The district suspended Goodman’s volunteer status pending the outcome of the police investigation.
He is no longer working with the team and district personnel have not seen or heard from him since his volunteer status was suspended, according to a spokesperson.