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Accidental shot fired into wall
Gates, N.Y. -- A Gates woman went to bed just in time on Monday night.
"Yeah, I was just going to bed, said Marjorie Merzke. I was here doing my bills and working on my computer moments before I heard the big boom.
She initially dismissed the noise but awoke the next morning to find damage to the wall just a foot or two from where she was sitting the night before.
"I didn't even think what it was that is why I went next door to see him (her neighbor) to see if he heard the big boom and he said yeah it was from me, explained Merzke.
Her next door neighbor, an 81-year-old man who 13WHAM News is not naming, explained that he was cleaning his shotgun at the time. He said he had not touched the gun in two years and thought it was unloaded but when it slipped a live round was fired into the wall but his kitchen table.
"If it wasn't for that firewall it probably would've come through, Merzke said of the slug that is presumably still inside the wall. "Crazy world, you're not even safe in your own home anymore."
Merzke spoke fondly of her neighbor, a man shes known for about twenty years. Yet she felt the need to call Gates Police who investigated on Tuesday.
"It could've been a very, very horrible situation, said Gates Police Officer Lance Duffy. We got lucky in this situation, obviously the projectile did go through the wall and into another residence. If someone happened to be sitting in that area it could've been a horrible, horrible thing.
The man voluntarily surrendered his gun to police and avoided a ticket for an illegal discharge of a firearm; a common ordinance in many municipalities. While a criminal charge could still be filed it is not likely.
Gates police are hoping instead that every gun owner is reminded of proper safety measures, especially as hunting season approaches.
"Gun ownership is a very, very big responsibility you always treat any gun as if it's loaded, said Officer Duffy. You always keep it pointed in a safe direction. When you're cleaning your gun anybody that has any knowledge about guns knows you always make sure the gun is unloaded and it's pointed in a safe position while you're doing that.