1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Stray round hits house, source alleged to be nearby range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Devonai, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Devonai

    Devonai Well-Known Member

    I caught this one over at Packing.org.

    The source article.

    September 10, 2003

    The bullet hit the side of the garage at about 9 a.m. one recent Saturday while Bob and Karen King were in bed reading the newspaper.
    The projectile drilled a pencil-size hole about 5 feet above ground level through the shake-covered wall, shattered the backs of two plastic hardware drawers on a shelf inside and bounced off the opposite wall. Spent at last, the slug fell to the concrete floor.

    On the other side of that wall, the noise interrupted Bob King's concentration.

    "I heard something rattling around in the garage, but we kept reading the paper," King said of that Aug. 23 morning. "Later on, I was messing around in the garage when I found little pieces of plastic lying on the floor. Then I found the bullet lying there, and I said to myself, 'This is not a good thing.'

    "And I called the police."

    The Kings' neighborhood hasn't been the same since.

    Police officers called the Bainbridge Island Sportsmen's Club, which for more than 60 years has had a pistol firing range south of the Kings' 5-year-old subdivision just north of New Brooklyn Road. The range, which is used by the police themselves for training, is about three-quarters of a mile from the Kings' house.

    A club official told the officer that the pistol range had been used that morning by an off-duty Bainbridge Island Fire Department firefighter and a friend. The slug found in the Kings' garage was a 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol bullet that was "consistent" in caliber and make with the ammunition being used by the firing range shooters, police said. The shooters denied firing any bullets out of the range or above the protective dirt berm behind their targets.

    The investigating officer didn't find any evidence that the two people practicing were negligent in any way. He called the incident a "freak accident."

    The club closed the pistol range immediately, said Bill Omaits, its president.

    "I didn't sleep for five nights," Omaits said. "This was very disconcerting to me. I believe this is the first time this has ever happened, although I don't know for certain. But it was time to do something anyway.

    "Our No. 1 concern is safety."

    Several days later, the club allowed shooters to resume target practice from a distance of 10 yards, but not from the 25-yard shooting stations.

    The Sportsmen's Club is among dozens of clubs across the country that have been fighting encroaching urbanization. A shooting club in Gig Harbor has been seeking approval to move its operations to a new location away from the town.

    Bainbridge's Sportsmen's Club was founded in 1929 when the island had only a few dirt roads. It was miles from the nearest habitation. New housing developments have been creeping down the hillsides from Bainbridge High School since the 1970s, and the club has been getting increasing numbers of complaints about noise coming from the practice ranges.

    No one can recall any incident involving a stray bullet.

    Bob King couldn't stop thinking about that bullet and how it could have gotten to his garage.

    "I remembered the real estate agent who sold us the house a year ago telling me there was a shooting range over south of us somewhere, but I never gave it much thought," he said.

    King got on the Internet and downloaded a satellite photo of his neighborhood. It showed that his house was almost directly due north of, and in the direct firing line of, the pistol range.

    The range has a high berm of dirt behind the target area at the northernmost end. Someone would have had to fire a bullet over the top of the berm or the bullet would have had to skip on the dirt to get over the barrier and reach King's house, several officials said.

    The bullet traveled some 2,200 feet through dense forest and undergrowth, narrowly missing two other houses just to the south of the Kings' on Laughing Salmon Lane.

    King's photo shows that six houses are within a 10-degree arc from a line King drew north from the firing range, and 12 are within a 20-degree arc.

    "I think it was just an accident," he said. "It sounds like somebody just aimed a bit higher than he should have. I haven't lost a minute's sleep over it."

    Karen King says she is just glad nobody got hit by the bullet.

    "But it's a wake-up call," she said.

    That's not the way their neighbor John Green feels about it.

    Green, president of the Brookfield Homeowners Association where the Kings and Greens live, said he didn't hear about the bullet until Sept. 3, and he immediately set up a meeting for 6 p.m. Friday at the Madison Avenue Fire Station to discuss the issue with city and Sportsmen's Club officials.

    Green said he also plans to attend tonight's meeting of the Bainbridge Island City Council to discuss safety at the range.

    "I don't believe that it was just a single round that got away one day," Green said. "I can't believe that's the only one that got away."

    On Monday night, the Sportsmen's Club's officers decided to close the range to all shooting until it can install safety devices that will ensure that bullets can't escape. The devices, Omaits said, could include a concrete barrier along the east side of the range -- the west side already has one -- and an "eyebrow," a large metal deflecting screen, above the target area.

    "It's not going to be a total roof, but the only way anybody would be able to get a round out of that range is to shoot straight up," Omaits said. "I can't see anybody shooting straight up."

    The club also plans to require all of its members and anyone else who wants to use the range, including police officers, to go through a safety training course.

    That's not enough to satisfy Green.

    He said he feels the club should also place limits on the types of weapons that are allowed at the range.

    "I am fairly comfortable in saying that the particular gun that was used to fire this bullet is a very powerful gun," Green said. "I don't know if we need that kind of weapon on a target range. To me, it's an egotistical kind of weapon to own. I think there should be a limitation on the power of the weapons people are allowed to use."


    I'll let you guys rip this one apart, I'm too :cuss: ticked about it right now.
  2. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Well-Known Member

    This story sounds fishy.
    Do the math.

    Sounds like another person who doesn't want a range near by either shot his own house or one of his neighbors shot his house.

    Another magic bullet from the grassy knoll.

    Gee I must have missed it when it was announced Glock was the only 9mm handgun out there. No mention of a ballistic matching report.

    This last quote is so stupid in content, no response is needed
  3. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    How incredibly stupid are these people to build or buy a house that is less than a 1/2 mile downrange of a pistol/rifle range?
  4. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    Not only stupid because he was told of the range before he bought the house and never went to check. He also have super hearing. While lying in his bed reading he heard the bullet rattling around on the floor. No mention of hearing it shatter thru the wall and 2 (?) drawers (how it shattered the backs of 2 drawers but no mention of the front is a mystery to me), just rattling around on the concrete floor. For 3/4 of a mile or roughly 1400 yards away that's mighty damn good for a 9mm.
  5. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Well-Known Member

    Glock makes bullets now?

    Neither did the developer or your architect, Mr. King.

    OK, Mr. Green. Police, FFs and other citizens have been using that range for what, 60 years? Mr. and Mrs. King moved in ONE year ago. The housing development is FIVE years old. Fine. As the president of the Brookfield Homeowners Association, you've sworn an oath to uphold...what, exactly?

    {Mr. Omaits, president of the club that owns the range, is panicking, with reason. He can't have reached his position by being anything other than absolutely on the side of safety. He's read about tidal waves. He knows he's about to be pilloried by a bunch of folks who've moved into the area. He tries to placate them. Wrong answer...}
    Yup, powerful enough to save a cop's life.
    to protect their own lives, as they watch over you and yours. Now that's rich. :fire:

    It's astonishing how complete was the assumption that this bullet came from the range. Certainly possible, but I'm with feedthehogs: it's a grassy knoll problem.

    So one has to wonder, WHO is in a position to buy and develop the land between the range and the existing subdivision if, say, public outcry forced the Club to close the range? Yes, one would have to wonder that. And perhaps to follow the money.

    And there's still Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. In this case, bad site selection.
  6. NewShooter78

    NewShooter78 Well-Known Member

    If the Homeowner's Association, or the subdivision developers want more saftey measures added to that range then they should have to pay for it. That range had been there 55 years before these housing subdivisions were there and they should have no right to play the ignorant card. There is always a chance for a stray or ricochet to end up outside of the range, no matter how safe any shooter is. It can happen. But shame on the developers for ignoring that fact and acting as if they can bully the range into acting any differently.
  7. Devonai

    Devonai Well-Known Member

    Okay, now that I've calmed down a bit...

    I'm sure that Mr. Green (almost the same name as the doc on ER who threw his $700 Sig into the Chicago river) would have referred to any firearm, regardless of caliber or appearance "egotistical." To him, a firearm is purely an extension of the Id and is therefore totally irrelevant to any kind of logical thinking. I'd like him to walk up to the nearest cop and tell him his sidearm is "egotistical." It would be pretty quiet around his neighborhood next time he calls 911.

    I seriously doubt that such a ricochet is possible. No 9mm load on the planet has enough energy to travel that distance and penetrate a wall and two drawers and then hit the opposite wall. This reeks of a setup.

    There are two stories out of Massachusetts, both of which I unfortunately have limited information about.

    The first is the case of Camp Curtis Guild in Reading. The range there (which is beautiful, with resettable targets at 300 and 600 yards and an underground tunnel for walking back and forth without calling a ceasefire) has been silent for some years now. The story goes that a police officer firing a MP5 somehow sent one into the stratosphere, and it impacted somebody's home two miles downrange. I don't know if there was ever any proof beyond the resident's word, but the National Guard shut down the range, apparently permanently. Now the moving target stands are rusting away and the range is overgrown with weeds.

    The second is the story of the Braintree Rod and Gun Club and Cara Donna Provision Company. I have spoken with both sides directly on this matter, and here's how I understand things. A Cara Donna employee claims that a round impacted his car while it was parked on CD's property. He was not in the vehicle at the time. No proof was ever presented to the authorities, but nonetheless Braintree Rod and Gun spent a great deal of money bolstering their backstops. They also reduced their number of high powered rifle ranges from two to one. This was done to placate CD and avoid a lawsuit.

    Please let me know if any of this information is incorrect.
  8. BogBabe

    BogBabe Well-Known Member

    Capitalism Magazine did a good piece on the concept of Coming to the Nuisance. This is a classic example of this concept.

    In my area, the folks who built homes around the airport are now complaining vociferously about the noise from the planes. Sorry folks -- you came to the nuisance, so siddown and shuddup!
  9. keyhole

    keyhole Well-Known Member

    :fire: :cuss: :banghead:

    Heard it before, but in that story, the homeowner had shot his own house, in an attempt to get support to close down a nearby range. An alert officer investigating it, found the casing, on the edge of the guys driveway.:what:

    And people build next to airports, and then complain about the noise???:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
  10. IAJack

    IAJack Well-Known Member

    Thank goodness one thing we do have good here in Iowa is a law that states once a shooting range is established and there 1st it has the right to stay there and cannot be contested or changed beacuse of urban sprawl.

    I tend to be a conspiricy nut on this and think that the guy had someone put one through his garage on purpose (from a nearby location) just so he could complain about those nasty guns going off?
  11. Hawkman

    Hawkman Well-Known Member

    I wanna know what ammo the shooter was using - great penetration!

    Must have been doing about, oh, 3000 fps out of the muzzle.:rolleyes:
  12. fish2xs

    fish2xs Well-Known Member

    yep those super powerful 9mm bullets produced by Glock are strong enough to shoot thru schools! or so I've read in the NY Times
  13. Monte Harrison

    Monte Harrison Well-Known Member

    We need a "pegging the needle on the BS meter" smilie.
  14. BogBabe

    BogBabe Well-Known Member

    And the recoil's enough to knock a man down! :rolleyes:
  15. DorGunR

    DorGunR Well-Known Member

    The sheeple got a police gun range shut down in Huntington Beach, CA by using this same tactic..........some guy said he found a .45 ACP round on his patio and said it came from the range. I've fired on that range and there ain't noway.....NO WAY.....that a round could have come from that range.:fire:
  16. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    Ever heard of a car running off the road and hitting someone's house?

    Of course you have ... it happens now and then.

    But I don't hear any calls to have all of the streets and highways closed down .... :confused:
  17. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    From the data given...

  18. tiberius

    tiberius Well-Known Member

    see below
  19. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Well-Known Member

    Shooting range stray bullet

    There's a difference between being pro-gun and being blind. You are blind.

    The safety standard for a shooting range must be ZERO hunks of lead escaping the property. Adding the "eyebrow" and otherwise beefing up the backstops is not only prudent from a safety point of view, but from a political one.

    Besides, you've probably spent enough time on shooting ranges to know that occasionally an idiot comes to shoot. It is unfortunate but true that the range owner must build to protect the neighbors from his worst-shooting customers, not his best.

    Just remember that there are shades of grey in the world. The "gun" side of things might be 90% right, 90% of the time, but there's that pesky 10%.

  20. tiberius

    tiberius Well-Known Member

    I forget where I stole this from, but it is appropriate.

    Now where do I find that 9mm ammo...good stuff.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2003

Share This Page