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Monday, 30 April 2012

Machine gun bullets hit home near mom, girl

Local authorities have contacted federal investigators after police said stray gunfire from a northern Indiana gun store’s shooting event narrowly missed a woman and young child inside their home more than a mile away. A Cass County Sheriff’s Department report says the .308-caliber bullets from a Russian-made machine gun struck two homes and a garage in the town of Galveston. No injuries were reported from the shootings and no arrests were made, the Pharos-Tribune reported Thursday ( ). A prosecutor didn’t immediately return a phone call Thursday seeking comment about possible charges. Investigators contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concerning the incident, but a spokesman for the ATF office in Fort Wayne didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment Thursday. Lori Stout told the newspaper she was sitting at the dining room table at her mother’s home April 14 while her 5-year-old daughter ate lunch nearby when she heard the glass break in a window above the front door. At first she thought someone was throwing rocks, but when she heard a popping noise she realized it was gunfire and called 911. “I just didn’t know where to go,” Stout said. “I had to go get my phone and I thought, ‘What if they start shooting again?’ ” Police found a bullet lodged in a wooden door frame inside the home and another bullet in the drywall upstairs. The first bullet nearly hit the mother and daughter, a police report said. “If the round would have traveled three inches to the right, there is a high probability chance that Lori and/or her daughter could have been struck,” the report said. Police said officers determined the bullets came from a shooting event at a rural property sponsored by Down by the Tracks Gun Store in Galveston. Police went to the shoot and ordered the 60 to 70 people present to stop shooting their weapons, the report said. Store attorney Larry Hansen said active shooting was taking place at other nearby properties that day and declined to comment on whether any laws were broken. He also said there only were about 15 to 20 shooters. Gun store owner Melvin Cardwell and others helped police identify the weapon from which the bullet had been fired. Witnesses told police the machine gun had been fired by an unidentified woman. Shooters were supposed to fire at a backstop that was about 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide, the police report said. Other nearby properties also were hit by bullets, the police report said. Stout said she is grateful no one was harmed, but she would like to see some sort of judicial action taken. “I’d like someone to be held responsible,” Stout said. “Accidents happen, but there needs to be some level of accountability.”



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