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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bullet penetrates house in MD of Pincher Creek, narrowly missing family

Spent bullet that came within feet of the Steed family
(submitted photo)
"It's a cautionary tale. It was random, maybe, for it to hit the house, but it was just a few feet from being a tragedy." - Dr. Greg Steed
Chris Davis - Just before 8:30 am on Saturday morning November 12 the Steed family was given a shock when a bullet pierced an exterior and interior wall of their home, luckily missing several family members, but causing them some alarm.

Dr. Greg Steed and his wife Cheralyn live south of the Town of Pincher Creek in the MD of Pincher Creek, on the southwest leg of Kerr Road. They were in their upstairs living room with their daughter and two year old grandson just before 8:30 am on Saturday November 12, enjoying some family time, when a bullet struck their home just below the living room window. "We heard this loud crash, so we thought something hit the house," explained Dr. Steed. The bullet travelled through the exterior wall, through the basement family room immediately below their living room on a downward trajectory, then through an interior wall into their utility room, where it struck and dented a filing cabinet that was up against the impacted wall before falling to the floor.  A slight change in the bullet's initial trajectory or in the movements of the people in the home could have resulted in a tragedy.

Bullet hole through window trim (submitted photo)
"I think I was the victim of some very careless hunting, and guys just need to know when they are out and about that one careless shot came within two feet," said Dr. Steed. "Anywhere from a quarter mile to a mile away a shot was taken carelessly, and went right through our house."

Entry point, outside exterior wall (submitted photo)
Piece of wire showing where bullet entered family room, through wall and valance
Entry point, interior wall
Exit point, interior wall
Dent in filing cabinet
An inch lower it would have blown out the family room window, a couple of feet higher it would have gone through the living room upstairs, where Dr. Steed was was standing by the window and the rest of the family was sitting on the couch. "We would have been right in line."

"Somebody, either down on the road, took a shot at something and never stopped to know there was a house in this field and it just came through the trees, or it came from a great distance from a ridge or a hill outside our property to the southwest. It is hunting season. My land is all posted (as 'No Hunting')."

"They either shot from the road, or they shot from the hill... it came from almost a mile away. They would have to be outside our land and shooting across, coming from quite a distance, probably almost a mile."

"I had pajamas on, I ran and threw my clothes on and went outside, asking what was that?"

Dr. Steed said he was initially concerned it may have been a bird flying into a window "But I thought, 'Could someone have actually shot the house?"

"I couldn't see it at first. My daughter came down and said 'There's a hole here (in the interior wall downstairs), how did the kids do that?'" Investigating, they found a bullet had come through the exterior wall, including the stucco and metal window framing, through a metal curtain valance, and crossed the family room which is roughly 14 feet wide, apparently losing trajectory as it crossed the room because it appears it struck the interior wall sideways. Upon moving a filing cabinet on the other side of the interior wall they discovered a dent in the cabinet and the spent bullet* on the floor.

Dr. Steed wasn't concerned about the damage done to the two walls. "I can do some cosmetics, because it's such a small hole. It didn't mushroom at all. What's scary is that a house with people in it a few feet away got hit with a bullet."

"Somebody shot where they weren't supposed to or did what the RCMP call a ridge shot, when an animal is up on a ridge, so if they miss it the bullet is just flying through the air. That's poor hunting."

"If they were aiming at this house to hit it in the middle, they could hardly have done a better job."

Cheralyn Steed added that the family room includes a big couch and television because "It's where all the grandkids and us are usually playing."

Dr. Steed said "It leaves you with a funny feeling in your stomach, and shaky legs."  He added his grandson "Talked about the loud bang at the house" afterward.

"It's a cautionary tale. It was random, maybe, for it to hit the house, but it was just a few feet from being a tragedy."

"It's that thin edge of randomness. It should have never happened. If you miss, and you have the wrong angle, you never know where that bullet is going to end up."

Dr, Steed said the RCMP are investigating and have retained the bullet* as evidence. We've asked for RCMP comment related to this story but one was not available at the time it was published.

According to Alberta hunting regulations, it is prohibited to "discharge a weapon within 183 m (200 yards) or cause a projectile from a weapon to pass within 183 m (200 yards) of any occupied building. Owners, occupants, or persons authorized by the owner or occupant are excepted, subject to local bylaws." In addition it is prohibited to "hunt any wildlife or discharge any firearm on or over occupied land or enter on to such land for the purpose of doing so without the consent of the owner or occupant of the land."

Click here for a guide to hunting regulations in Alberta. And if you were the shooter, smarten up, because this could have easily resulted in a manslaughter charge.

*corrected for accuracy

4 comments:

  1. Looks like an FMJ bullet that is illegal to use for big game hunting. Looks like it ricocheted. A careless shooter for sure but I doubt a hunter is to blame. Glad the family is okay but quite likely an undeserved black eye for hunters. Also, it's a .30cal "bullet"....not shell.

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  2. Anonymous16/11/16

    If you try to write a story and bash on hunters, atleast be decent enough and educated enough to get the terms right. The "shell" would be found nowhere near the house, but what you have a picture of would be the bullet.... did the editor not catch that?!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous16/11/16

      So you're okay with someone shooting into someone's home if a reporter makes a minor error when reporting about it? Give your head a shake. This article doesn't bash on hunters, it bashes on people who fire off their guns indiscriminately without thinking about the possible consequences. If you own a gun, live up to the obligations owning a gun requires. Most of us do. Obviously, someone didn't.

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  3. Wow, to close for comfort... I'm glad no one was hurt..... In agreeance with previous comments we should no be too hasty to blame a hunter... It could have been anyone. The right thing for whoever did this is to come forward and explain... Lets be safe out there folks....

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