Several incidents of stray bullets striking homes and whizzing past kids and parents in a residential neighborhood in Algoma Township has caused the Department of Natural Resources to close target shooting in the Rogue River State Game Area Extension.
Effective immediately, target, skeet and trap shooting at the Rogue River State Game Area Extension will be prohibited. However, lawful hunting will continue to be allowed in the state game area.
The order was signed by DNR Director Rodney Stokes May 5.
“It is always unfortunate when we have to close an area to certain activities,” said DNR Director Stokes. “However, the careless and illegal shooting at the Extension is a serious public safety risk that we must address.”
The order is in response to a growing number of complaints from residents who live in the Saddle Ridge subdivision near the Extension about careless or illegal shooting dating back to 2004.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigated at least three recent incidents of bullets striking homes and a light pole in the Saddle Ridge neighborhood, which is located a half mile to the west of the Rogue River Extension nature area, located east of Algoma Avenue and north of Fonger Road.
Bullets penetrated a home exterior and bedroom in the 9700 block of Sunset Ridge on April 10, and during a canvass of the area by Kent County Policing officer Tonya Walkons and DNR officers found another home which had also been struck. In that case the bullet passed close to a little girl’s bed and stopped in a bathroom. Two other homes had also been struck by bullets.
It was determined that three Rockford area men had fired the bullets from an AK-47 rifle and a .30 X .30 caliber rifle while target shooting at the Rogue River Extension Area, located one half mile from the damaged homes. They have been cited for misdemeanor Reckless Discharge of a Firearm.