Stray bullets zip through Marcola, anger community members

A stray bullet hit a barbecue grill and lodged in the metal at a home near Marcola this month. (Lane County Sheriff)

MARCOLA, Ore - Lane County Sheriff's Office responded to stray bullets damaging homes and property in Marcola three different times in May.

"I was trying to sleep and I come out hearing gun shots," Marcola resident Lisa Johnson said. "I had to put ear plugs in 'cause I was trying to sleep and it was a pain in the butt."

Johnson said gun shots waking her up is not unusual in Marcola.

But stray bullets zipping through the community definitely is.

"Always have some cover behind," Johnson said. "You don't ever shoot just to shoot."

LCSO said there was nothing behind the shooter's targets to stop them from continuing onto neighbors' properties. That's how three items were hit by stray bullets in May alone.

"You know I got my parents that live just across the road from me," Johnson said. "They are 80 years old, I would be really upset if they got hurt from some moron that doesn't know how to use a gun."

Although no one was hurt by these stray bullets, LCSO Sgt. Carrie Carver said they present a danger to the public.

"It can potentially end somebody's life," Carver said.

Carver said LCSO is not looking for the people responsible for firing these shots.

Instead, their focus is on educating the public on target practice safety before a stray bullet takes a life.

"People that shoot recreational and that's something to do that is fun for a lot of people," Carver said. "There are some serious consequences if safety is not the first priority."

However, Johnson said if you cannot shoot safely, then stay away from her hometown.

"If you're from town and if you're coming out here, then take precautions because there are families," Johnson said. "We don't want anyone hurt and if you don't take those precautions then don't come out. It's that simple. Just don't come out and hurt our families."

LCSO's firearm safety tips:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Never point a firearm at anything that is not your intended target.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you have made the decision to fire the weapon.
  • Know your target and what lies beyond.
  • Keep weapons locked in a safe place when they are not in use.

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