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Off-Target Hunter Shoots Into Home Day-Care Center

Children Inside Frightened, But Not Injured

November 13, 2003

WARRENTON, N.C. -- People in a Warren County home day care received a scare when a deer hunter missed his target Thursday.

When a hunter shot at a deer and missed Thursday, a bullet went into Yolanda Russell's house.

A buckshot pellet almost hit children inside the home. No one was injured, but the incident frightened everyone inside.

It only took a few minutes for a workman to replace the window at the Kid's R Us Learning Center, which Yolanda Russell runs from her home. But the experience of having the home hit by gunfire was enough to shatter the nerves of children and adults.

"The older ones, their reaction was, they fell to the floor, and they were crying," Russell said.

The rural area in Warren County in which Russell's home is located is a popular spot for deer hunters. The hunter whose shot shattered the window, identified as Marvin Grissom, belonged to a hunting club.

"A deer passed between him and the home that was shot into," said Sgt. John Reams, a wildlife enforcement officer. "He shot one time, double-ought buckshot."

Russell said the pellet's path was right where the children sit and watch TV. The kids just happened to be away from the window.

"The man came in from Wildlife," Russell said. "He examined the window and walked straight across the room, and . . . there it (the buckshot) was on the floor."

Reams said the hunter was 250 yards away when he fired. The house was hit twice; the second buckshot pellet left a gaping hole in the siding.

"There is no safe distance when you have the house in a direct line of fire," Reams said.

Kids inside the home just happened to be away from the window when a round of buckshot went through it.

Russell said she was caught off-guard by the incident.

"I'm usually looking out for, you know, cuts and boo boos from a playground," she said. "I'm not used to looking out for bullets harming me and my children."

Late Thursday afternoon, the state's wildlife enforcement division charged the hunter, Marvin Grissom, with discharging a weapon without regard to the safety of others.

The hunt club Grissom belongs to apologized for the incident and offered to pay for all damages.

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