Man arraigned for allegedly firing round that struck child

A 40-year-old man was arraigned Monday for allegedly shooting himself with a hunting rifle and firing a round that went through a floor, hitting a child, at a San Jose apartment complex late last month, a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney said.

Eric Smith, 40, of San Jose, was arraigned today on felony charges of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, negligent discharge of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm, Deputy District Attorney Michael Gadeberg said.

Each charge has a great bodily injury enhancement and if convicted Smith faces 17 years in prison, Gadeberg said.

He has a previous felony conviction of hit-and-run causing bodily injury in 1993 in Santa Clara County, according to Gadeberg.

Smith was in a wheelchair when he appeared at the Hall of Justice Monday afternoon before Superior Court Judge Daniel Nishigaya.

The defendant did not enter a plea and his next court hearing was scheduled for Nov. 19, according to Gadeberg.

On Oct. 28 around 5:45 a.m., officers responded to a report of a person shot in the 1900 block of Almaden Road, police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.

Smith allegedly shot himself with a .30-06 bolt-action rifle and a round went through his apartment floor, hitting a 9-year-old boy who had been sleeping, according to Gadeberg.

Arriving officers found Smith and the child wounded and emergency crews transported them to a hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening, Garcia said.

The child is still at the hospital recovering and has undergone a series of surgeries, Gadeberg said.

"We can never feel safe when there's people like the defendant who because of their criminal history are prohibited from having firearms but still manage to get hands on a firearm," Gadeberg said.

The shooting injured Smith's left foot and he was treated for several days at the hospital before being booked into jail, Gadeberg said.

Smith is being held on $260,000 bail, Gadeberg said.