HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Washington County partially closed one of the venues at the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park after residents from a nearby subdivision reported ricocheting bullets hitting their homes.
In the Stone Ridge neighborhood in Hurricane, residents said a ridge and wall of rock behind their homes separates them from the shooting park.
Hurricane resident Eddie Mac Jones said he’s counted 23 bullets that have struck neighbors’ homes on his block and found bullets on his driveway. Jones said he’s fearful every day that a bullet might strike him.
“You don’t dare come out and do your yard work because you never know when one’s gonna come in and get you,” Jones said. “I’m just waiting for the dreaded day that somebody gets hit in this neighborhood.”
Andrea Mansfield, who lives a few minutes from Jones, said her home was hit by a bullet just a few inches from her bedroom window.
“Now my daughter doesn’t play outside anymore,” Mansfield said. “I’m too scared.”
Mansfield said officers from the Hurricane City Police Department came to her home and found a suspected bullet hole but no bullet.
“Two weeks ago the police came again with metal detectors and were investigating a new hole,” she added.
Most of the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park closed in late 2015 and reopened by early 2016 after local police reported similar ricochet issues.
Board members overseeing the shooting park said the County Commission is working with staff to redesign the range and face shooting bays away from the direction of homes experiencing ricochet.
The Redcliffs Rifle and Pistol Venue, which is not accused of bullets hitting nearby homes, is located down the road from the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park. Safety officers said the residents’ fears are justified.
“That’s one of the reasons I think that they’re making every effort to make sure that kind of occurrence doesn’t happen in the future,” said Red Cliffs Rifle and Pistole Venue safety officer Brent Chettle.
ABC4 News spoke with Hurricane Mayor John Bramall, who was not available for an on-camera interview but provided a statement over the phone.
“We fully support the Southern Utah Practical shooting range and hope it’ll reopen in a few weeks,” said Bramall.