By Melanie Yingst
CONCORD TWP — For the third time in 14 months, a building has been struck by a stray bullet in Concord Township.
At Tuesday’s Concord Township meeting, trustees approved to repair the township’s office building, located on Horizon West Court, from damage caused by a stray bullet. The damage from the bullet was found on the side of the steel structure and its metal door.The estimated cost of the damage was more than $3,000.
According to Neil Rhoades, road superintendent, at the meeting he told trustees that he and crew members remember hearing a loud noise outside of the township building in the late afternoon this past December.
Later on inspection, Rhoades initially thought the building’s shop door had been damaged by a pry bar. Authorities were notified of the possible burglary attempt, but it was determined by police officials that the damage was caused by a stray bullet. The remnants of the bullet was later found near the damage.
The second incident of a reported stray bullet in the general vicinity happened at Troy Christian High School in September 2013. A stray bullet struck a metal door at Troy Christian High School on Sept. 4, 2013. School was not in session during the incident.
An administrator heard a noise in the hallway and discovered the bullet on the ground. The door was located on the west (Interstate 75) side of the high school building.
After the Troy Christian High School incident, police officers checked the area after the report was made and had found residents target shooting in the area, but none of the persons were found to have had the approximately 30-caliber-sized bullet that struck the school building.
The first report of a stray bullet in the area was made in October 2012. The incident was reported that a stray bullet struck a home in the Edgewater subdivision, damaging a window of the home.
It is prohibited to discharge a fire arm within the city limits, according to authorities. According to Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dave Duchak, Ohio’s laws “are liberal” when it comes to regulating gun use in the county.
Duchak said some Ohio townships have passed laws to regulate the use of firearms in open areas. According to the Ohio Township Association, Concord Township is the 25 most populated township out of the 100 townships in Ohio with 30,353 residents. The ranking was made using the 2010 U.S. Census.
Duchak said safety precautions such as a proper backstop and clearance from buildings and populated areas should be a priority. Duchak said target practice should also be done at a reasonable hour of the day. Duchak said proper precautions when discharging a fire arm in the county include finding a safe area a few hundred yards away from buildings and populate areas, shooting towards a hill or open field and knowing the approximate distance the fire arm is capable of is key to keeping incidents like these from reoccurring.