Gun shots rang out over Fourth

COVINGTON - Fireworks weren't the only thing going boom over the Fourth of July holiday. The Newton County Sheriff's Office was called to the scene of several incidents where guns were fired.

A man was arrested the morning of July 4 after he allegedly shot at a dog and missed. The bullet had entered a bedroom and was found lodged in the wall above a bed.

David Mark Bell, 40, of 175 Windsor Way in Oxford was arrested and charged with recklessly causing harm or endangering society.

The victim, who lived on Ashley Drive, said he heard a gunshot and looked out the window, but failed to see anything. He searched through his house, however, and found the bullet hole in the wall above his daughter's bed.

Mitchell said Bell admitted to firing a weapon at a dog that kept killing some of his chickens.

"Evidentially, the suspect was attempting to shoot the dog, but missed the dog and shot into the residence," NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said.

Mitchell warned of the dangers of discharging firearms in residential areas.

"In the past we have had someone fatally shot because of someone target practicing or shooting up in the air. It doesn't matter whether it's the Fourth of July or any time of the year. It can cause a danger to the public," he said. "We used to be a rural county where you could shoot on your own property, but now we've had such an influx of people, you just can't do that anymore."

The county ordinance stipulates a person is not to discharge a firearm less than 350 yards from any street, alley or building.

· In other shooting news, a person living on Brown Road was shot in the right leg just above the knee about 10 p.m. Friday. The man told deputies he had a gun in his right front pocket of his pants and when he put his hand in the pocket, the gun went off.

He refused medical help and said he would have his mother drive him to the emergency room.

The incident is being investigated as an accident, according to Mitchell.

· A woman called the NCSO on Saturday morning to report she heard a loud noise about 1 a.m. that "sounded different from the fireworks," but ignored it. The next morning, however, she found the back window of her car shattered.

She said as her son was cleaning up the broken glass, he found a portion of a small bullet lodged down in the tail light located on the trunk of the vehicle. Deputies were unable to determine where the bullet came from.

· A woman on Ashley Way notified the NCSO that sometime between 6 and 11:30 p.m. Friday a bullet had gone through her roof and the ceiling of her home before it lodged in the floor of her bedroom. It was surmised that a bullet had been fired into the air and came down inside the home, but no evidence of value was found at the scene.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.