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    Accidental Shooting Leads to Felony Charges

    Michael Stapleton

     On July 3rd, 2021, at approximately 5:33 pm, officers responded to a call of shots fired at the Carl’s Jr restaurant located in the 500 block of Miller Valley Road in Prescott.  Upon arrival, they learned that a male subject entered the restaurant and attempted to pull a handgun from his waistband when the weapon discharged and reportedly struck the suspect in the leg.  The suspect then fled the scene.

    Officers responded to a local hospital and learned that a patient had brought himself into the emergency room with a self-inflicted gunshot wound which he claimed occurred inside his vehicle in a parking lot.  Officers located the man and identified him as 27-year-old Prescott Valley resident Michael Stapleton.  The suspect would not admit to shooting himself inside the Carl’s Jr and claimed that it occurred inside his car in the parking lot.  Surveillance video showed the suspect enter the restaurant, reach into his waistband, and then accidentally discharge the firearm into his leg.  Stapleton was interviewed by a Detective and would not admit to what his intent was by reaching for the gun when he entered the establishment. 

    At the hospital, the suspect was placed under arrest, and upon searching his jeans a substance believed to be dangerous drugs was discovered in one of his pockets. Once the suspect was treated and released from the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury he was booked into the Yavapai County Jail on six felony charges including Attempted Armed Robbery, Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Discharging a Firearm in City Limits, Endangerment, Possession of Dangerous Drugs, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  The firearm used during this incident was recovered and booked into evidence.  

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