VANDALIA — A Vandalia resident has sued the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds, and its owner, Dana Tackett, for what he alleges is negligence “in their maintenance and operation of the shooting range.”
Jamie Spencer, who owns a home on Brown School Road, alleges that bullets from the range are landing on his property and flying overhead.
Lawsuits represent only one side of the story. The Vandalia Drummer News will be contacting Mr. Tackett for comment.
He is asking the court for $25,000 “or an amount to be determined at trial” to include attorney’s fees and clean-up costs.
Spencer also alleges lead contamination from bullets and sound levels being above acceptable limits during a three-day period in August, and that the shooting range does not have adequate range officers to monitor patrons.
In the complaint Spencer also alleges that the range is in violation of its permit issued in 2007 which allegedly stipulates that shooting only occur in an east or west direction.
In a report completed by the Vandalia Division of Police on September 7, officers observed shooters on a range running north-south as well as bullets landing on Unibilt’s property at 7731 Johnson Station Road. In that report, a Vandalia Police Officer noted “several rounds whiz by us” and stated “we both knew it was not safe where we were.”
Sgt. Todd Flynn said in the report “it was obvious to me that the shooters were a threat to public safety and not in compliance with the permit issued by Chief (Douglas) Knight.
They then ordered the range shut down and notified Tackett that he must be in compliance with the permit.
Previously, in a report dated August 27, 2017, police noted that there were no range officers present despite all booths being filled with shooters.
Spencer first brought his concerns about the shooting range to the Vandalia City Council in October, 2016. At that time, the shooting range denied any wrongdoing.
“The range employs five full-time range officers,” said Attorney Erik Blaine. “We have not had any evidence presented to us in the form of projectiles.”
At the time, Tackett said that he’s given up four shooting positions to enclose the range due to an “overabundance of caution.”
“Everyone (shooting) is required to sit on a bench and an RO (Range Officer) is there with them making sure they are on target,” said Tackett. “You couldn’t hit his (Spencer’s) property if you wanted to.”
The lawsuit is currently pending in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.