An Idaho man who shot himself led Pasco police on a wild-goose chase for three hours early Sunday after claiming his injury was from a robbery.
Roberto Garcia Garcia, 53, is in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center being treated for the gunshot wound to his left palm.
The injury, which also affected his index finger, was not life-threatening but the damage appeared to be extensive, said Pasco Sgt. Brad Gregory.
Police are recommending to prosecutors that the Caldwell man be charged with false reporting, a gross misdemeanor, and ordered to appear in court at a future date.
According to the police report, Garcia Garcia showed up at Lourdes Medical Center at 12:30 a.m. and told emergency room staff he was the victim of a robbery.
Officers responded to the Pasco hospital, and were told that Garcia Garcia had been walking to a store from a friend’s house when he was confronted by two men who demanded money. Garcia Garcia claimed he was pulling out his wallet when the robbers shot him, Gregory said.
Police searched the area where he said the attack happened, but found no evidence.
Then they watched hospital surveillance video to identify the vehicle that had dropped off Garcia Garcia. Officers located the van and found a lot of blood inside, but determined the shooting didn’t happen there.
Eventually, Garcia Garcia admitted that he shot himself accidentally and had “concocted the story,” Gregory told the Herald.
Garcia Garcia reportedly said he’d been visiting relatives in the Tri-Cities, saw a semi-automatic gun on a table inside the house, picked it up and the gun went off.
The police report does not explain why he made it all up, Gregory said.