Office bullet hole credited to stray shot

?I know what a gun sounds like?I?m a gun owner and a deer hunter. It sounded like a limb had fallen on the roof of the central office.??Steve NobleUSD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble said law enforcement have concluded that a bullet that penetrated the exterior and two interior walls of the district?s central office earlier this month probably came from a hunting rifle.

The incident occurred Saturday, Dec. 7, while Noble was working in the building.

?I heard a sound I hadn?t heard before,? he said. ?It was a banging sound, but it wasn?t a gunshot sound. I know what a gun sounds like?I?m a gun owner and a deer hunter.

?It sounded like a limb had fallen on the roof of the central office.?

Noble said he looked through his windows for evidence of who or what might have caused the noise.

?I listened for another sound similar to it, but never heard another thing, and didn?t see any activity outside,? he said. ?So I went back to work.?

The following Monday morning, Carla Harmon, district treasurer, came into his office.

?The bullet had gone through her office and tore up some ceiling tile and tore up a metal grate that the ceiling tile sets in,? Noble said. ?So we went in there. I looked around, and she said, ?I think we?ve been shot.?

?I knew exactly when it happened because I remembered that sound on Saturday morning.?

The police were called in to investigate.

The bullet penetrated the exterior south wall of the building about a foot below the interior?s 9-foot ceiling, according to Noble. The bullet then passed through the interior wall that separates Harmon?s office from the main lobby, right at ceiling level.

?I went through that wall and then ricocheted off the wall where the file cabinets are,? Noble said. ?Once it hit the center wall, the bullet kind of disintegrated at that point. We couldn?t find a single fragment, but there was a piece the exited the lobby wall.?

After surveying the office site, Noble said officers then investigated surrounding area, including the fairgrounds across D Street and the city airport to the southwest.

?They determined it?s close enough to where a deer hunter would be?it?s pretty wooly southwest of town out there. South of the airport hanger there?s an area out their that would hold deer.

?That?s only, as the crow flies, three-quarter of a mile from our office.?

Noble said he was told by a hunter-safety instructor that a bullet from a rifle used for deer hunting can travel as far as 2 miles if it doesn?t hit an obstruction.

With the opening of the firearms season Dec. 4, local officers concluded the bullet that hit the office building was a stray shot by a deer hunter.

The event did receive regional coverage when a Wichita television station sent a crew to cover the story.

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