Couple awarded $175K in lawsuit over stray gun range bullets

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A Carroll County jury awarded a couple $175,000 after they claimed that dozens of bullets from a neighboring gun range riddled their home over a 10-year period.

Kenneth and Carol Caldwell filed suit against Advanced Bullets Gun Range on Spruill Bridge Road in October 2011.  They claim that shooters on the range missed their targets, and the bullets hit their home directly next door.

"Living in fear is what it feels like," said Kenneth Caldwell.  "Scared all the time, afraid to go out into your yard and do anything.  Don't know what bullet has your name on it."

The Caldwells said they tried to talk with the owners of the gun range about the problem, but the bullets kept coming.  They counted four bullet holes in their bedroom, two in their living room and many more in other parts of the house.  In all, they claim their home was hit 27 times by stray bullets over that 10-year period.

"I actually got to know the sounds of which bullet was going to hit," said Carol Caldwell.  "Every day I came home, I was scared to walk up the walkway, scared a bullet was going to hit me."

After they said they couldn't get the bullets to stop, they contacted attorney Desiree Duke and filed the lawsuit.

"I was enraged," said Duke.  "I just couldn't believe that a business or even just neighbors would let this kind of thing happen."

Channel 2's Richard Elliot contacted the gun range's attorney, Christopher Teasley, but he said they had no comment.

As part of the verdict, the judge ordered the range temporarily closed until the National Rifle Association can complete a safety review and make recommendations to the court.

The Caldwells felt safe enough that for the first time in years, they invited their grandchildren to come swim in their above-ground pool.

Even so, they don't think they're going to stay there much longer.

"I'm going to take some of the money, and we're going to pay off this place," said Carol Caldwell.  "The rest of the money? We're getting out of here."