A Palatine faces a misdemeanor charge after police say he accidentally discharged a bullet at his upstairs neighbor’s apartment while cleaning his AR-15 rifle on Sunday night.
Jordan A. Johnson, 32, of Panorama Drive’s 800 block, is charged with one count of reckless driving misdemeanor Cmdr Palatine Police. David Brandwein said Monday.
No one was injured, police said, and Johnson was released on bail pending a court appearance on July 15.
Johnson called the police himself at 10:11 p.m. Sunday and has a valid gun owner ID, Brandwein said.
Meanwhile, the couple upstairs are considering moving elsewhere.
Ann Bell, who lives in the unit above Johnson, said she and her husband were getting ready to go to the grocery store Sunday night when they heard noise. They were in a different room than the one the bullet passed through, she said.
“Suddenly we hear a ‘pop’. To me it looked like… almost like a light bulb or some kind of electric explosion. And we smelled like smoke, ”she said.
The couple entered a room that serves as a chat room and office for Bell, where they noticed a void with a frayed rope and a damaged box of cat toys.
“A minute or two later, we hear a knock on the door of the Palatine Police Department,” Bell said. “They were very quick.”
Bell said she was lucky that no humans or animals were injured. She praised the work of the Palatine Police, saying they had done “a fantastic job” of responding, communicating and following up.
Still, the episode was scary, she said.
“I was in this room near this place, probably two minutes before this happened,” she says. “And my cat was also almost exactly in the same spot almost two minutes before that happened.”
Now Bell and her husband have started looking for a new place. The management of the apartment complex is understanding, she said.
“Personally, I can’t live here,” Bell said, adding that she is anti-guns and suffers from anxiety. “People can own guns, but they have to be very careful.”
Gun owners should educate themselves about handling and cleaning security, the police commander. Said Bruce Morris.
“If they legally own a firearm, safe and secure storage is of paramount importance. Always double check before cleaning a handgun to make sure it is unloaded, and always handle a gun as if it is loaded, ”he said.
People can take handgun safety courses. Also, Project ChildSafe at projectchildsafe.org/safety/get-a-safety-kit offers free safety kits that include a cable-type pistol lock and safety instructions.