Petaluma man arrested on suspicion of accidentally shooting roommate

A 21-year-old man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after his roommate apparently accidentally shot him at their home in Petaluma on Monday night.

Petaluma police arrested the man’s roommate, William Gingras-McCauley, 21, on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm causing injury, police said.

The victim, who was struck in the upper torso, was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and is expected to survive, police said.

Police responded to the incident in the 1400 block of Mountain View Avenue after Gingras-McCauley reported to dispatchers at 11:50 p.m. that he had shot his friend.

During an investigation, Gingras-McCauley told authorities he accidentally discharged a rifle while handling the weapon, which he did not think was loaded, Petaluma Police Sgt. Paul Gilman said.

Gingras-McCauley also told police he and the victim were drinking alcohol Monday night before the shooting.

Another roommate and a guest who witnessed the shooting corroborated what occurred, police said.

You can reach Staff Writer Ethan Varian at or 707-521-5412. On Twitter @ethanvarian

Ethan Varian

Housing and homelessness, The Press Democrat 

I've lived in California for most of my life, and it's hard for me to remember when the state hasn't been in a housing crisis. Here in Sonoma County, sharply rising housing costs and increasing homelessness are reshaping what was long considered the Bay Area’s “affordable” region. As The Press Democrat’s housing and homelessness reporter, I aim to cover how officials, advocates, developers and residents are reacting to and experiencing the ongoing crisis.

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