A Natchitoches man is incarcerated in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center following a weekend incident allegedly involving target practicing. The bullet entered an elderly man’s residence and narrowly missed him according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Noah Harvis Johnson, 25, of the 100 block of Patrick Road, was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center Sunday, May 9 at 5 p.m. charged with Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property and Illegal Use of a Weapon.
The investigation began at 4:40 p.m. when NATCOM 911 Center received a call from the 500 block of Riverview Drive, Natchez, reporting someone was firing a weapon across Cane River and a bullet went through his window in an area where he was standing.
Two deputies responded to the scene.
The man, confined to a walker and other assisted living accessories, informed deputies he had made contact and spoke with an individual across the river from his residence about shooting and the dangers of bullets ricocheting off of the water causing possible property damage or harm.
Detectives and deputies traveled to a Point Place residence across Cane River and made contact with Johnson.
Deputies collected a Walther PPS 9mm semi-automatic handgun in Johnson’s possession.
Johnson admitted firing his weapon multiple times while shooting at empty cans in his yard. He further stated that when the complainant yelled at him, he ceased firing the weapon.
Apparently, while Johnson was firing the weapon on Patrick Road, the bullet went through a glass window at the complainant’s residence.
Johnson was released May 10 on a $10,0000 bond set by a 10th Judicial District Judge.
Lt. M. Powell and Deputy M. Williams made the arrest.
Sheriff Stuart Wright said we are very fortunate that someone was not injured in this incident. Always follow the following gun safety rules while targeting practicing. Remember when you pull the trigger and fire that weapon you can’t stop the bullet or call it back!!
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded. Always assume that a gun is loaded even if you think it is unloaded. Every time a gun is handled for any reason, check to see that it is unloaded. If you are unable to check a gun to see if it is unloaded, leave it alone and seek help from someone more knowledgeable about guns.
- Keep the gun pointed in the safest possible direction. Always be aware of where a gun is pointing. A “safe direction” is one where an accidental discharge of the gun will not cause injury or damage. Only point a gun at an object you intend to shoot. Never point a gun toward yourself or another person.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Always keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. Even though it may be comfortable to rest your finger on the trigger, it also is unsafe. If you are moving around with your finger on the trigger and stumble or fall, you could inadvertently pull the trigger. Sudden loud noises or movements can result in an accidental discharge because there is a natural tendency to tighten the muscles when startled. The trigger is for firing and the handle is for handling.
- Know your target, its surroundings and beyond. Check that the areas in front of and behind your target are safe before shooting. Be aware that if the bullet misses or completely passes through the target, it could strike a person or object. Identify the target and make sure it is what you intend to shoot. If you are in doubt, DON’T SHOOT! Never fire at a target that is only a movement, color, sound or unidentifiable shape. Be aware of all the people around you before you shoot.
- Know how to properly operate your gun. It is important to become thoroughly familiar with your gun. You should know its mechanical characteristics including how to properly load, unload and clear a malfunction from your gun. Obviously, not all guns are mechanically the same. Never assume that what applies to one make or model is exactly applicable to another. You should direct questions regarding the operation of your gun to your firearms dealer, or contact the manufacturer directly.
- Store your gun safely and securely to prevent unauthorized use. Guns and ammunition should be stored separately.
ADDITIONAL SAFETY POINTS
The six basic safety rules are the foundational rules for gun safety. However, there are additional safety points that must not be overlooked.
- Never handle a gun when you are in an emotional state such as anger or depression. Your judgment may be impaired.
- Never shoot a gun in celebration (the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve, for example). Not only is this unsafe, but it is generally illegal. A bullet fired into the air will return to the ground with enough speed to cause injury or death.
- Do not shoot at water, flat or hard surfaces. The bullet can ricochet and hit someone or something other than the target.
- Hand your gun to someone only after you verify that it is unloaded and the cylinder or action is open. Take a gun from someone only after you verify that it is unloaded and the cylinder or action is open.
- Guns, alcohol and drugs don’t mix. Alcohol and drugs can negatively affect judgment as well as physical coordination. Alcohol and any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical functions should not be used before or while handling guns. Avoid handling and using your gun when you are taking medications that cause drowsiness or include a warning to not operate machinery while taking this drug.
- The loud noise from a fired gun can cause hearing damage, and the debris and hot gas that is often emitted can result in eye injury. Always wear ear and eye protection when shooting a gun.
Be safe, make the right decision.