FRANKLIN, Ind. - During the past few weeks, stray bullets have been flying in Johnson County—hitting peoples’ property and now even a person. Sheriff Doug Cox says it’s all accidental, but that it has to stop before someone gets killed.
Kevin Destrampe heard shots fired just seconds before he was shot while standing in his own driveway.
“It felt like a baseball bat slamming into your leg,” said Destrampe. “It hurt a bunch.”
The Franklin father of three had just rolled into town following a family vacation. Authorities say the stray bullet that hit his knee was fired by his neighbor, a man who police have identified but haven’t yet charged with a crime.
“A little lower it could have done more damage to my lower leg bones,” said Destrampe. “A little higher it could have hit an artery.”
Sheriff Cox says gun owners need to be responsible and use common sense.
“Absolutely the number one thing we want people to realize is they are ultimately responsible for that bullet that leaves that firearm,” said Cox. He believes each incident was an accident, but adds that people need to be more careful.
Johnson County ordinance allows people to shoot guns on their own property, as long as they do it safely. Penalties for violating the ordinance can include jail time or fines of more than $7,000.
“As long as they have taken the proper steps to make it safe, they can shoot if they meet the standards of the ordinance that’s in place in Johnson County,” said Cox. He adds the safety place to shoot is at a designated shooting range.
Destrampe, who still has that bullet lodged in his knee, says in the country, people might not appreciate just how far a bullet can go. He says if you can’t shoot safely, you shouldn’t shoot at all.
“Look where you’re shooting, where are your bullet is going to and beyond,” said Destrampe. “If you don’t have a sufficient backstop, you shouldn’t be shooting on your property.”