Four men and two women have been arrested by Brant police and Erie County sheriff’s deputies for an allegedly beer-fueled target shooting spree with rifles off Route 5 near Commercial Street on Sunday afternoon in the Village of Farnham.
Investigators said one shot nearly struck a young birthday party-goer in the head when a bullet whizzed through a house. Nearby, horses had to be restrained to prevent them from jumping over their pasture fences, police reported Thursday.
With an investigation continuing and more arrests expected, the numerous gunshots fired at beer cans set alongside trees at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday resulted in the six arrests on charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, felony criminal mischie+f and reckless endangerment of property.
Arrested were John Bingel, 54, and his wife, June Stresing, 45, of Angola; Joseph D. Vail 45, and his daughter, Jaime L. Vail, 25, of Evans; Mark Hartman, 59, and his son, Jacob Hartman, 33, of Angola.
All the suspects have been ordered to appear in Brant Town Court for criminal proceedings later this month.
Brant Police Lt. Mark Slawek said neighborhood residents reported hearing several hundred shots fired from a high-powered rifle. He said a Commercial Road homeowner told officers a bullet whizzed past the head of a young girl attending a birthday party at his house.
Another homeowner said his 8-year-old daughter and a friend lay on the floor of a shed for safety until the numerous rounds of gunfire halted. Other neighbors described a “very chaotic” scene as they took cover on garage floors until police officers arrived and restored order.
Slawek said police were told by one neighborhood resident that all the gunfire so traumatized his horses they all tried to escape their electrified pasture behind his home by jumping over the fence. The horse owner said he and neighbors physically restrained the horses.
Village prosecutors are expected to seek court-ordered financial restitution for property damage caused by the target shooting spree, Slawek said.