Couple blames police range for stray bullets hitting home

Print
Email
|

by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 16 at 12:37 AM

Paris, Texas

View larger map

PARIS, Texas - It's not the cold rain falling from the sky, but rather stray bullets that scare Chris Lewis so much.

"It's to the point we're scared to come outside, afraid we're going to get shot," he said.

Lewis' place on the southeast side of Paris is peppered with bullet holes.

Slugs have struck his building, hit an old Volkswagen and even the family dog, named Lucky, took a slug to the leg.

"He was bleeding bad," Lewis recounted. "We got him to the vet real quick."

Lewis said the gunfire comes from Paris Police Department's gun range, which is less than 1,000 feet away, where officers go to practice with their pistols and re-qualify as peace officers.

"We're just lucky by the grace of God we haven't already gotten hit," Lewis explained.

The city has taken action to protect anyone around the range.

It recently tripled the height of the berm on the side of the range from six feet to 18 feet. Plus, Paris also plans to add a wooden fence on top of it next year, when the dirt settles, to further prevent stray bullets from escaping.

"There's just no evidence for sure to say how the dog was shot, whether it was somebody from the police range or whether it was the neighbor," said Gene Anderson the interim city manager.

Plus, police shoot south, Anderson said, and the Lewis' live to the west.

Still, Paris offered to pay for Lucky's $328 vet bill if the Lewis' would sign a statement releasing the city from any legal action. The couple said they refuse to accept the current terms the city is offering.

Regardless, Anderson insisted the bullets could have come from anywhere - not just police pistols.

"This is rural Texas," he said. "Everybody has a gun, you know?"

The Lewis' said they just want the range moved, fearing next time they might not be as lucky as their dog.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|