The Coast News Group

Boy shot by negligently discharged gun

OCEANSIDE — An 11-year-old Oceanside boy was shot when a neighbor negligently discharged a riffle on Dec. 17.

The boy was skateboarding with friends in a common outdoor area at an apartment complex, located in the 400 block of Vandergrift Boulevard. He said he heard a single loud pop and then noticed the injury on his hand.

The boy was taken by air ambulance to Rady Children’s Hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. He was conscious, talking and in stable condition when he was flown to the hospital.

Oceanside police talked to witnesses and found a neighbor caused the injury when he negligently discharged his gun.

A bullet from a .223 caliber rifle ripped through the suspects’ apartment wall to where the boy and several other children were playing.

The suspect, Martin Rockwell, 39, was arrested, and charged with willful discharge of a firearm in a grossly negligent manner. Rockwell is out on bail.

Kathleen Vincent, Oceanside Police acting public information officer, said Rockwell told officers his gun discharged while he was unloading it.

Due to the ongoing investigation not much has been said about Rockwell.

It appears he legally owned the gun. It is not known if he owns additional firearms.

Vincent said the shooting is an unusual incident at the apartments. She added police have not been informed of any additional safety measures the apartment management is taking.

A trial date for Rockwell will be set for some time in January.