Gun Training Continued After Stray Bullets Reported

GRAND HAVEN TWP. (AP) – Grand Valley State University officers continued firearms training at a West Michigan gun range after a first report that stray bullets may have struck a home about a half-mile away, according to police reports.

The Grand Rapids Press and the Grand Haven Tribune reported Friday that documents they obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the officers were midway through a training session Sept. 29 when a man drove up, saying his house was hit.

The police reports said the commanding officer on the scene at the North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club’s rifle range in Grand Haven Township called a Grand Valley State police captain to report the problem. The captain gave the OK to keep firing after officers relocated to an adjacent pistol range.

Later police would learn a contractor working in a nearby development, located about 30 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, was wounded in the arm by a bullet apparently from the range. Last month, prosecutors announced they wouldn’t bring charges in the case.

Allendale-based Grand Valley State University said it has launched an internal investigation.

“We, too, requested and received a copy of the sheriff’s report,” university spokesman Matt McLogan said. “We are checking with our own officers who were on the site that day and others.”

Club officials plan to have the National Rifle Association and other independent auditors examine the range’s design. Gun club President Mark Welch said the injury and damage reported nearby that day seem to indicate the police training and instruction failed.

The club closed the outdoor range after reports surfaced about the stray bullets.

Jeremey Wilder, an area resident whose home was damaged months before Sept. 29, said neighbors believe the problem with stray bullets is more widespread.

“We expect the safety recommendations to ensure that no bullets will be capable of leaving the rifle/pistol range and striking people, homes and property,” Wilder said.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Cortland Richmond says:

    Online maps and satellite views show that most of the firing lanes point towards the nearby development, and that an intervening ridge is probably too low to provide complete protection from weapons aimed too high. A Department of Energy handbook on Range Design Criteria found on line lists the maximum distance a 9mm round fired from a pistol will go as 1740 meters, and the development is only about 750 meters away.

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