Landscaper hit by mystery bullet while working in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, Ind. (June 16, 2015) -- Five days after a freak shooting in a Columbus neighborhood, investigators still don't know how it happened. A bullet hit a landscaper in his side while he was working outside of a home. Luckily, his injuries were not life-threatening.

But police and neighbors want to know where that bullet came from.

"A gunshot's just unheard of," said Karen Day, who lives nearby.

Off Westview Point Drive in Columbus, you'll find big houses, and by Tuesday, big concerns, too.

"I expect to be safe here. And it makes me uneasy," said Scott Heist, a resident.

It was Friday morning around 11, police said, when the bullet his the 51-year-old man working behind a home.

"It appears to be an accident," said Sgt. Matt Harris, with Columbus police.

Investigators said they first thought a BB or pellet might have hit the man. The worker refused treatment at the scene and kept doing his landscaping work. But he later went to the hospital, where investigators said an X-ray revealed a .22 caliber bullet in his left side.

"We spoke to several residents who happened to be outside when this occurred. They reported not seeing or hearing anything," said Harris.

The homeowners did not want to go on camera, but they said they believe the bullet somehow came across a lake, through a woodsy area, and ended up on their property.

Columbus police said shooting a firearm is not allowed in city limits--it's prohibited by an ordinance. But the subdivision is near the edge of the city and county line, so police said the bullet could've come from the county side where firing is legal.

"Bullets of this caliber can travel great distances, so it doesn't appear to be a deliberate act. But we are seeking information into where that round was fired from," said Harris.

Bottom line, police want to know who fired the shot. Neighbors do, too.

"Regardless of where you're discharging a firearm, you're responsible for every round that leaves that gun," said Scott Heist, who lives in the area.

Columbus police said they're looking for any tips the public can provide. Tips can be submitted anonymously.

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