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March 26. 2013 9:46PM

Hudson homeowner reflects on bullet hitting house


A stray bullet pierced this window in a Breakneck Road residence Monday evening around 6 p.m. No one was injured in the house. (JULIE HANSON PHOTO)
HUDSON - Ernest Dupras has grown accustomed to the sound of gunshots occasionally echoing through his backyard on Breakneck Road.

But his 11-year-old son thought something sounded different Monday evening and questioned whether the house had been hit. His fears were confirmed 20 minutes later when the boy discovered a bullet lodged between the glass of a double pane window in a spare room. No one in the home was injured.

Shots were heard in the neighborhood earlier in the evening and stopped when the house was hit, according to Capt. William Avery of the Hudson Police Department. Police believe the bullet strayed from an area often used for target practice. Dupras sees it differently.

"It was not target shooting. It was random shooting at trees with houses on the other side of the trees," Dupras said. "It was extremely irresponsible."

Shooting toward a house without knowing where the bullet was going to travel shows a lack of common sense, Dupras said.

It's difficult to determine where the shooters were standing when they fired because sound echoes, Dupras said. He collected about 11 casings near the water behind his home Tuesday and said more remain. He hopes the police will be able to determine the caliber of the weapon and use that information to follow up in their investigation.

The investigation is in the early stages, Avery said. Police have no reason to believe the act was intentional, he said. Still, shooters need to take precautions.

"You need to be responsible for any bullet that leaves your gun," Avery said. "You need to be aware of where your bullets are going."

A 300-foot "buffer zone" away from residences is required when firing weapons. The amount of undeveloped land in that section makes pinpointing the target-shooting site more challenging.

"It's difficult to be able to narrow down the exact area where they were shooting weapons from," Avery said.

Residents have grown used to hearing shots in their neighborhood.

"It's very common to hear target shooting," said Craig Allard.

People often enter the area from Boyd Road on a path accessible only by quad or ATV, making it difficult for police to follow up on every complaint, Allard said. He hopes that people using the area respect the 300-foot buffer, stay aware of their surroundings and act responsibly.

The recent bad weather has kept target shooters away, according to a neighbor who asked to be identified only as Karen. She hears target shooters occasionally in the warmer weather and is concerned for her three elementary school-aged children.

"We don't let them play outside when we hear it because we don't know where it's coming from," she said.

Police are asking anyone who may have been shooting near Breakneck Road Monday evening or who has information about who may have been shooting to contact them at 886-6011.



jhanson@newstote.com



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