New Garden resident Sheila Gilmore got quite the shock when she came home from Chicago after Thanksgiving.
The Candlewyck Drive resident said that on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, while she was away visiting family, her husband James remained home to tame on a few outstanding home projects – like painting their mud room.
While he was working in the garage, Gilmore said a bullet whizzed over his head and lodged in a soffit.
A second bullet had come through her living room, putting a baseball sized hole in her bay window and piercing an old picture of her mother and father on their wedding day.
The Gilmores weren’t involved in a drive-by shooting, however – it was hunters looking for deer on the property next door.
“I could not believe it,” she said. “I hear shots every once in a while around here, but I never expected anything like this.”
Gilmore initially contacted the New Garden Police regarding the incident. And while they investigated and made a report, Gilmore said she was told to contact the gaming commission.
Keith Mullen of the Pennsylvania Game Commission southeast division confirmed that he had investigated the incident and that he was in the process of identifying the individuals involved.
“It’s an active investigation,” Mullen said.
Mullen said he had spoken with witnesses at the scene, as well as the Gilmore family, and had inspected the damage, which he said was significant.
Mullen said that incidents like this one happen more often than people are aware, and that while he had no reports of home shootings last year, one season a few years ago produced a total of four such incidents.
“There is a 50 yard safety zone surrounding any residence or residential area for bow hunting and a 150 yard zone for firearms,” Mullen said. “If the hunter is doing his job, things like this would not happen.”
Mullen said he could not elaborate on any potential charges, since he was still in the course of investigating the incident.
Gilmore said that she wanted the public to know that these things can and do happen, and that they are as unexpected as any emergency.
“This was just reckless,” she said.