City man shoots himself in foot, found to be in possession of drugs

(Photo from City of Cortland Police).

A city man was arrested over the weekend after accidentally shooting himself in the foot and being in possession of drugs, according to a city of Cortland police report.

On Sept. 11 at 5 a.m., city police responded to a call at an apartment on Elm Street about Darris McDowell, 36, who had been shot in the foot.

Initial reports of the call were contrast. It was “not immediately apparent how the shooting occurred and how badly the man might be injured,” the report states.

Once officers arrived at McDowell’s Elm Street residence, they were met by a 42-year old outside of the apartment. McDowell was sitting down inside the apartment, bleeding from an “apparent gunshot wound” to his left foot, the report states.

The report continued that McDowell at first claimed that an unknown gunman had entered the apartment, unannounced, and shot McDowell in the foot “while he was lying on the couch.”

City investigators, however, determined that McDowell had accidentally shot himself in the foot. Prior to the shooting, an argument that led to McDowell threatening to shoot the woman occurred. The reason behind the argument was unclear, said city detective lieutenant Mike Strangeway.

City police then proceeded to search McDowell’s apartment and noticed a half-ounce of cocaine, as well as scales and packaging materials, the report states. 

Strangeway noted that there was no indication of McDowell being under the influence of drugs at the time of the arrest. McDowell received treatment for his injury at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse.

McDowell has been charged with menacing in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree, and two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree (each a misdemeanor); criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of weapon in the second degree, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (all felonies).

McDowell was recently arraigned in city court. He was released on one’s own recognizance. McDowell’s next city court date is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 11:15 a.m.