Stray Bullet From Shooting Range Hits Home

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A stray bullet from a state owned shooting range hits a Blackman Township Home, barely missing a construction worker.

"I heard a crack, felt something hit me at the same time and looked at the wall. I saw a bullet," says Kevin Roberts who was hanging drywall just two feet away from where that bullet hit last week. It hit the corner of a garage in a new home being built in the Stonegate Farms subdivision on Lansing Avenue.

The shooting range, south of the home, is owned by the Michigan Department of Corrections. A Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy and two instructors were training on the range the day it happened. Undersheriff Tom Finco says ballistics show it most likely came from the Deputy's gun.

"Even during the day you here pop, pop, pop, pop, pop," says Shannon Ireland. He lives in the subdivision. First concerned about the noise from the range, he contacted Blackman Township Public Safety and was told about the home being hit.

"I can live with the noise as long as I fell safe, my family feels safe and everyone in the neighborhood feels safe," Ireland says.

The Michigan Department of Corrections is working on changes including a mound of dirt or berm behind the targets being raised eight feet higher. A wooden structure called a baffle system will be installed. It should help catch stray bullets. More trees will be planted, which will help with the noise, and targets may be lowered as well.

The subdivision developer wants the range closed until the changes are made. A spokesperson for the MDOC says it will remain open as this is the first incident of its kind.

It's not clear when the improvements will be finished or how much they will cost.

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