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Residents fear for their safety because of neighbor firing air rifle

By Paul Burton

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    NEWTON, Massachusetts (WBZ) — Newton residents say pellets are flying onto their property causing damage and making them afraid to go into their own backyards. “This is a hole in our fence,” said Jackie Schrader of West Newton. “We believe it came from his air rifle shooting through.”

Schrader says she and her family are terrified of the neighbor that lives behind their house who has set up a make-shift air rifle target practice range.

“If he misses that backboard it’s coming into our property,” Schrader said.

Bruce McKee showed WBZ the air rifle causing all the commotion. It shoots .30 caliber pellets. “It’s called a PCP gun. It’s just compressed air,” McKee said.

The 51-year-old is a carpenter by trade but loves to shot as a hobby. “It’s just relaxation. Some people like to read books, I like to shoot,” McKee said.

But his love for air-rifles is striking fear in the hearts of some of his neighbors.

“I called police several times,” said Dayanne Leal. “When the police comes, he stops and the next day he’s just doing the same thing again.”

Newton Police say McKee is not doing anything illegal, but now city officials are taking steps to amend Newton’s firearms ordinance.

“What we are trying to do is add an amendment to that ordinance that will cover the discharge of air guns, pellet guns, BB guns,” said Newton City Councilor Andrea Kelly.

Several neighbors have complained and filed police reports about the shootings, and many are really afraid to go outside in their yards with their children in fear that someone may get hurt.

“We have stopped coming out here. We are afraid,” Schrader said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

McKee said he has never missed the target or the wood behind it.

Schrader said police have examined a hole in her fence. “We had officers look at it and said it’s definitely been a projectile that has come from that property. I shake. Nerve-wracking. Causes a lot of anxiety.”

The matter will be brought before the full city council on Monday.

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