Deputies investigate claims of stray bullets from local shooting range

Assistant News Editor

The County Line Shooting Center, which has garnered criticism since its construction, is now facing complaints of bullets leaving the property.

Deputy Stephen Traeger said property owners living near the range called the Hays County Sheriff’s Office with reports of ricocheting bullets over the weekend. Deputies investigated the situation and informed the range owners, Lisa and Dean Murphy, of the complaints. No “real” property damage was incurred, and no one was injured from the ricochets, Traeger said.

“My understanding was they were going to make some improvements, and hopefully that will cut down on any ricochets and hopefully cut down on any complaints they receive,” Traeger said. “That’s not to say somebody else may not call and be concerned about it.”  

According to the range’s Facebook page, it was closed March 4-10 for improvement. A second post on March 14 announced the range would reopen the next day.

John McGlothlin, lawyer for the Murphy family, said the range did not close because the Sheriff’s Office was called.

“The range closed down voluntarily for some pre-planned improvements and scheduled maintenance,” McGlothlin said. “They were closed, voluntarily, for a week. The pistol and rifle ranges were closed while the shotgun and archery ranges stayed open.”

The sheriff's office is conducting an ongoing investigation about the bullets that “allegedly strayed” into the neighbors’ property, McGlothlin said. The owners have cooperated with the county in the investigation.

The incident occurred in the midst of legal action between the shooting range and two neighboring families. The Schneider and Torres families, who own land near the range, filed a lawsuit against the Murphys Dec. 28, according to Jan. 16 The University Star article.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 7, McGlothlin said.

The families filed a suit before the center opened, however a judge ruled they would have to wait until the opening to pursue legal action, according to the article.

Before the range was built, families living in the area expressed concerns that their home property values would be lowered because of safety factors, according to an Oct. 8 The University Star article. The Murphys said their range was exceeding safety mandates for shooting ranges in the same article.