A Terrace man was nearly struck by a stray rifle round Aug. 27 while doing household chores in his backyard.
“We heard this kind of whirring and a thud. We looked around [inside] the house and there it was. A bullet, just sitting on the stairs next to the broken window,” says the resident who asked to be identified only as Roger.
He had been painting his home on the 4900 block of Medeek Avenue as his partner carried groceries inside when out of nowhere came the quick, unfamiliar sound.
Roger is unsure of the calibre but says it was much larger than a .22.
Terrace RCMP responded to his call within minutes with five officers on hand. As they conducted a scene examination and inquiries with neighbours, shots continued to be heard and appeared to be originating several hundred metres away from the south side of the Skeena River, police said in an email.
The round that struck Rogers home had lost most of its velocity before piercing a double-pained window, bouncing off an interior wall and dropping to the staircase.
“It came within feet of catching me,” he said.
Terrace RCMP believe the shot was a result of poorly planned target practice.
“Bullets travel fast and far,” said Cst. Crystal Evelyn, Terrace RCMP’s media liaison. “It’s absolutely essential the proper backdrop is in place before anyone pulls a trigger on anything. A simple miscalculation or misunderstanding about the force of a firearm could easily have lethal consequences. The best place to target shoot is the rifle range, a place designed specifically for target shooting. That’s where we encourage people to go to learn more about the abilities or their firearms, and to practise their target shooting.”
Because no one was injured, if the shot to the house is deemed unintentional the person responsible would only face a charge of Careless Use of a Firearm.
Roger doesn’t believe the shot was fired with intent to harm anyone. He’s also doubtful a suspect will be identified, but he’s speaking out in the hopes the shooter realizes the recklessness of their actions.
“This could have impacted me for life. I’m making a lot of assumptions believing it’s people just being idiotic — it’s the beginning of hunting season and they’re thinking they’ll go out and have some fun and shoot some cans. But I’m a hunter, I have a gun and I would never consider doing this.
“The important part here is that people get their heads screwed on right, and understand how firearms work.”