Woman injured in restaurant after customer accidentally fires a gun

An 80-year-old woman who was accidentally shot while eating dinner at an Oak Harbor restaurant Friday night is recovering, according to police.

The 57-year-old Coupeville man who inadvertently discharged the gun in the crowded restaurant was arrested, booked and released; prosecutors will decide whether to charge him with a crime.

Oak Harbor Police Chief Kevin Dresker explained that the man, who has a concealed license permit, was armed with a .40-caliber handgun at Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway. The gun owner removed the weapon, placed it on his chair and covered it with a napkin when he momentarily stood up.

The man was placing the gun back in his holster when it fired, Dresker said. The bullet went through the tablecloth and struck the woman, who was seated at another table.

The bullet went through her shoulder and exited from her chest area.

The woman didn’t initially realize she had been hit.

“Another guest saw a small amount of blood on the woman and said, “I think you’ve been shot,’” Dresker said. “She said she didn’t think so but that her back hurt.”

The chief explained that people sometimes don’t feel an injury right away because of shock. He said everyone in the restaurant was understandably startled by the gun going off in the confined space, and it may have taken time to process what had happened.

The woman was later airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment, but the bullet didn’t hit any vital organs, according to the police.

The man who discharged the gun was very distraught and cooperative with police. There was no reason to believe the shooting was anything but unintentional, Dresker stressed.

Police arrested the man on suspicion of assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

More in News

Planning director quits, assessor hired to serve in interim

The Island County planning director submitted her letter of resignation last week… Continue reading

City awards last round of CARES funds

Oak Harbor has reviewed the remaining CARES grant applications submitted by small… Continue reading

SATURDAY, JULY 18 At 5:01 p.m., a caller reported finding a bone… Continue reading

Crash run into post offices, Dollar Tree

A spate of vehicles crashing into buildings is just an anomaly, according… Continue reading

Oak Harbor Public Schools decide on plan for fall opening

The Oak Harbor School Board made the unanimous decision Monday night to… Continue reading

‘Rogue sheep’ observed | Island Scanner

THURSDAY, JULY 9 At 1:07 a.m., a Goss Lake Road resident reported… Continue reading

Whidbey Island Music Festival goes virtual

The greatest composers probably didn’t imagine that centuries after writing their opuses,… Continue reading

Council in a jam over sandwich boards

Langley officials decided to temporarily suspend an ordinance prohibiting the display of… Continue reading

Oak Harbor council limits spending authority in anticipation of COVID-19 impacts

The Oak Harbor City Council significantly reduced the spending authority for all… Continue reading

Most Read