Local News

Stray bullet nearly hits 12-year-old in Raleigh home

Posted November 15, 2017 5:55 p.m. EST
Updated November 15, 2017 10:06 p.m. EST

— A 12-year-old was almost hit by a bullet in his north Raleigh home that his parents contend was shot by someone hunting nearby.

Jordan Members was standing in the kitchen of his family's home on Meryton Park Way at about 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 3 when a bullet from a .22-caliber rifle ripped through the side of the home, missed his head by inches and ended up in the bathroom, his father said Wednesday.

"He immediately just ducked, ran out the front door and called me," Shaun Members said. "It could have been very tragic."

The bullet left holes in the kitchen cabinet, the stairwell and a wall. A second shot ripped through Jordan Members' upstairs bedroom.

Meryton Park Way backs up on some woods near the Neuse River off Capital Boulevard. The owner of the wooded property, which sits just outside Raleigh's city limits, has long allowed hunting there, Shaun Members said, adding that he has often seen deer outside his home during the 11 years the family has lived there.

"[Gunshots are] something that, for years, we have heard, but it was always from a distance," he said. "I, pretty much, the next day had to take my son to work with me for 10 hours because I wasn't going to leave him here feeling unsafe."

Shaun Members said the landowner called him after the incident, told him he was unaware anyone was hunting on his property that day and assured him what happened to Jordan would never happen again.

The landowner couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment.

The incident is among a string of local cases raising concerns about hunting near public properties and residential areas.

On Monday, a deer hunter caused a lockdown at Northwood High School in Pittsboro after an employee heard a single shot. Last month, a 15-year-old Rocky Mount High School student was hit in the neck by a stray bullet before baseball practice, and authorities said the shot likely came from someone hunting or doing target practice in nearby woods.

No laws were violated in either of those cases, so no charges have been filed.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said people are allowed to hunt right up to a property line as long as no projectile lands on an adjoining property. If a bullet does cross the property line while hunting, the hunter could be charged with careless and negligent hunting, a misdemeanor, and a prosecutor could seek more serious charges if there's property damage or injuries.

Despite Raleigh's growth into once-rural areas where people have hunted for generations, Harrison said he hasn't seen an increase in situations like Jordan Members' close call.

The Memberses said they want to find the person responsible for the shots into their home, but calls to Raleigh police and the Wake County Sheriff's Office turned up no suspects.

"I love my home. I don't want to move," said Jordan's mother, Evelyn Members. "This [should] not happen again. [We need] something to protect the neighborhood."