An Apalachicola man who accidentally shot himself in the leg caused a flurry of concern Wednesday morning, May 21, including the brief lockdown of the Apalachicola Bay Charter School.
According to the sheriff’s office, around 10:50 a.m. Nathaniel W. Lee, 25, 145 Sixth Street, was on the porch of his mother’s house on Ninth Street, near Sylvester Williams Park, when he was putting a handgun back in his pants and shot himself in the leg, causing a non-life-threatening flesh wound.
Because he had several outstanding warrants, “he didn’t want to get the law involved, he didn’t want to go to the hospital,” said Apalachicola Police Chief Bobby Varnes.
Instead, he left his mother’s house, and was hiding in a nearby house when sheriff’s deputies apprehended him within the hour.
After being cleared by Weems Memorial Hospital, Lee was transported to the county jail, where he was booked on warrants connected to drug-related activities.
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Chester Creamer said Lee was charged with resisting officer with violence, possession of cannabis, battery, criminal mischief and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The city may charge him with discharging the weapon in city limits, he said.
Lt. Kevin Newell, the school resource officer at the ABC School, took the precaution of ensuring that no students went outside until the man was caught.
“The guy was on foot, still had a bicycle, and we didn’t know if he had a weapon on him,” said Creamer. “For safety reasons, they didn’t want any kids out on the playground.”
Varnes said the incident ultimately made law enforcement’s job easier. “We had been trying to find him anyway,” he said. “I guess you could say that this helped us.”