PITTSFIELD — A man accused of firing rounds from the hood of a car Monday later shot himself in the hand while apparently trying to wipe his fingerprints off the gun, police said.
Jesus Lugo, 37, was bleeding heavily from his hand, which was wrapped in a cloth, when he encountered police outside a Robbins Avenue home Monday evening, according to police reports obtained Thursday by The Eagle.
Lugo declined to elaborate on how he suffered the injury, but a witness told police that Lugo accidentally shot himself in the hand while cleaning a silver gun, the reports said. The witness told authorities that it “appeared as though he [Lugo] was trying to wipe his fingerprints off of it.”
The incident was the first of two gunfire reports within a few hours late Monday into early Tuesday, and it comes amid a spate of shootings in recent days and weeks.
Officer Brennon Stockton was patrolling the city’s West Side neighborhood Monday evening, in response to the surge in gun violence, when he spotted a shirtless man in jeans shorts riding on the hood of a moving black BMW sedan and a woman in the driver's seat, the reports said.
As the woman drove west on Linden Street, Stockton saw the man on the hood fire approximately three rounds toward a residence. He reported hearing more gunshots after the car turned onto Dewey Avenue.
The woman slowed the car as Stockton tried to pull her over, and the man slid off the hood and took off running, the reports said.
Officer Bryan Betters saw the man go into a Robbins Avenue residence, prompting police to descend on the home, and a wounded man, later identified as Lugo, emerged from the house and was arrested.
Stockton said Lugo was the same man he saw firing the shots from the vehicle moments earlier.
Lugo was treated at Berkshire Medical Center and released to police custody. Police executed a search warrant in a second-floor apartment at the Robbins Avenue address and said they found a .45 semi-automatic handgun stashed in a bedroom, the report said.
He was charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, carrying a loaded firearm without a license and ammunition possession, according to court documents.
Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf Thursday at a hearing in Central Berkshire District Court. Lugo was not present in the courtroom.
He is being held without bail pending a hearing in court Friday, at which he will appear in person, said defense lawyer Elizabeth Quigley.
“My client is looking forward to proving his innocence,” she said.