Residents escape injury from stray bullets

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Four people escaped injury when several men who were target shooting allegedly fired rounds toward them Wednesday near Christiana, according to officials with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

One round traveled over the head of Hailey McWhorter when she delivered mail to neighbor Michael Baxter about 1 p.m. on Wayside Road, Deputy Michael Moody said Friday in a press release.

The round traveled into Baxter’s home while he was inside and landed in a bathtub, officials said.

Michele Baker and Troy Barrett were cutting trees between where the shots were fired and the residence that was struck, Moody said.

“They stated that the bullets were close and that they could hear the bullets flying past them but couldn’t see the shooters,” Moody said.

When Moody arrived, he reported he heard “rapid gunfire from two separate small caliber weapons being fired at the same time and observed three pickup trucks in a field directly across from the Christiana Fire Hall on Sledge Road.”

Deputies located five men but only one told them he was shooting.

Detective Sgt. Dan Goodwin and Detective Phil Brooks recovered the bullet from Baxter’s home and interviewed the suspects. They found the round traveled 653 yards.

Four of the five suspects were convicted felons who are not supposed to possess or carry firearms unless their rights are restored, Goodwin said.

“No charges have been filed because the case remains under investigation,” said Lisa Marchesoni, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “Charges are expected.”

The detectives seized more than 600 rounds of ammunition and five pistols.

Goodwin said it is legal for people to shoot in unincorporated areas of Rutherford County, but he cautioned they must be careful and observe safety rules.

“You have to have a safe backstop,” Goodwin said.

Read more from:
Christiana, Public Safety, RCSO, Rutherford County, Sheriffs Office, Shooting
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