Stray bullet that struck house is warning sign

The stray bullet that struck the home of Rich and Kelli Pettit, Chesterville Road, early Sunday afternoon, Aug. 19, should serve as a reminder that people must pay attention to their surroundings when firing weapons because those rounds don’t know any limitations and can go anywhere.

Kelli Gentrup-Pettit was standing in her driveway with daughter, Carli, talking with Jennifer Cutter and daughter, Ava, when they heard weapons firing in the distance. A stray bullet whizzed by them, and struck the picture window on the front of the log home. The .45 caliber bullet was recovered.

The day before there were dozens of people in front of the home as they celebrated the eighth birthday for youngest son, Coleton.

A large water slide was set up, and people enjoyed the wrap-around porch and standing in the path the bullet took the next day. Sunday afternoon they were still playing on the water slide when the bullet struck.

They immediately called 911 and were told to go in “lock down” and stay in the basement where Kelli had taken them until Dearborn County Sheriff deputies arrived. Kelli and Carli, along with sons Grady and Coleton, and cousin Josh Pettit were safe in the basement.

These three boys, however, were sitting at the table on the porch in front of the window about 30 minutes earlier eating pizza while enjoying the water slide.

The deputies soon discovered where the firing came from and drove to the area and found sportsmen from Ohio shooting clay pigeons. One of them had decided to fire his .45 pistol, and one of those rounds found its way out of that area, over a woods, across Chesterville Road, and down the long driveway to hit the house.

The person who fired the weapon was brought to the house to see the damage and how close he came to causing a tragedy. He was visibly shaken.

Kelli is thankful nobody was hurt and reminds people to pay attention to their surroundings when firing weapons because those rounds don’t know any limitations and can go anywhere.

God was watching over these people. Kelli said you can replace the window but you can’t replace these kids. They thank the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department for their quick response and handling of the situation.

Rising Sun resident PG Gentrup is the father of Kelli Gentrup-Pettit.

The Dearborn County Register & Journal Press

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