I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Who is Shooting Live Ammunition at the Pits Near Houses on Wymart Road?

A silver sedan, a Blue Dual-Axle Full-Size Pickup truck, and 3 Sheriff's Office Vehicles were parked in front of the Pit last Monday as residents heard many volleys of loud gunfire from a pit off of Longleaf drive (photo courtesy of  a resident)

At a recent meeting of the Lake Francis Neighborhood Watch I attended--the residents there all wanted one answer from me:  Who is shooting live ammunition so close to neighbors and houses on Wymart Road?

This Silver sedan was parked in front of the pit on Monday, November 6th.  (Photo courtesy of a resident)

I told them I would look into this matter and try to figure it out.  Since that time I have spoken to several residents that have found bullets on their property after hearing shots fired at the pit.  One resident found a bullet in his car, and he turned it over to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.  Another resident told me he has found multiple bullets in his backyard pool.  "They look like 9 MM and 223 rounds.  I collected them from the bottom of my pool, I called the sheriff's office and I turned them in to a deputy" this resident told me.  "If these bullets are coming down in my pool--what's to say they won't hit me or someone else in the neighborhood?" he questioned as we spoke over the phone.

Another nearby resident I spoke with says he has heard loud shots coming from the pit for a while now.  "One night, I heard what sounded like automatic weapons being fired down there--that or a bump stock on a rifle--but it was rapid fire!"  he continued  "I've heard explosions down there too, really loud ones.  I had a recording of this gunfire on my phone for a while, but I accidentally deleted it recently when I was trying to free up space on my phone."  he told me.

I have followed up with code enforcement staff, and they do not have any information on any permitted shooting ranges in this area.  An internet and Facebook search turned up an organization called "Beaver Bayou Battleground" that runs an air-soft gun game in this location from time to time.  They have some interesting drone footage of the events and the course online.  But residents with which I spoke are convinced what they are hearing is not air-soft or paintball guns.  "Absolutely not a paintball gun--nope those are real guns being fired down there!" said a neighbor I spoke with about this.

I have been contacted by the sheriff's office and I have forwarded them pictures of several vehicles that a resident sent to me from this past week. There was a silver sedan, a Blue Full-Sized Pickup Truck, and three sheriff's office vehicles there.  All of these vehicles were parked at the entrance to the pit just this past Monday--a day where lots of shooting was happening.

Yesterday, I received the following text from a concerned resident  "Sorry to text on Saturday but shooting in the pit continues."

I hope that together we are on the verge of solving the mystery of who is un-safely firing weapons down in this pit--I hope we solve this before an innocent bystander is hit by one of these bullets!  With many residents now expressing concern, with several schools very close to this location, we certainly do not need a tragic, preventable gun accident to injure or kill someone.


Anonymous said...

What is a 226 round are you talking about 556 get it right

Jeff Bergosh said...

Resident said it was 9MM and .223 rounds. .226 was a Typo. Fixed