Political Notebook

Man who shot off part of hand pleads guilty to federal weapons charges

A 29-year-old Fresno man who shot off part of his hand and injured his young son with a shotgun blast pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Fresno to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing an unregistered firearm.

The Jan. 7, 2014 incident happened as Cruz Venegas was discussing the “status” a relationship between himself and a 17-year-old female who was in the car, according to federal court documents. After the female said there wasn’t a relationship, Venegas “wanted to push the issue, and was getting irritated,” court documents said.

Venegas then reached into the back seat of the car — which was stopped at a gas station in the 1600 block of North Maple Avenue in Fresno — and pulled out the shotgun. The female turned away in fear. At that point, she heard a deafening sound and saw blood everywhere. When she looked, Venegas was outside the car, holding his hand and screaming. Venegas’ 6-year-old son was injured when a shotgun pellet hit him in the ankle. Besides Venegas’ 6-year-old son, a second son, aged 5, was also in the back seat of the car. He was uninjured.

The unregistered firearm charge was filed because Venegas’ Boito 12-gauge shotgun wasn’t registered with National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. He also had a 2006 felony conviction for spousal abuse.

No sentencing date has been set.