As more people use Hover Park, neighbors concerned about gun fire
NEAR FINLEY, Wash. —
The signs on the edge of Hover Park near Finley are clear: "No shooting."
But lying on the bank of a creek that flows right through the park are six red shotgun shells.
Gun fire in and near Hover Park has left many of the neighbors concerned.
One man that Action News spoke to didn’t want his face shown on camera, but says he's made several calls to the Benton County Sheriff's Office: “Crazy amount of gun fire this weekend. It was multiple times. I can’t remember all the times I’ve called the sheriff for all the shooting.”
He says every weekend the park is full of people, many of them riding dirt bikes or hitting the water in boats.
Yet more people means more of a chance of a horrible tragedy
“Just wondering when one of them bullets is going to go in the opposite direction? When are we going to have a ricochet? When are we going to see cop cars coming down here and they’re flying some kid out of here that’s got a bullet hole in him or something?”
It turns out the concern is all too real.
Back in 2010, authorities say a young boy was shot in the leg. He and his family had been riding ATVs in the park and had just stopped for lunch when it happened.
Benton County Sheriff deputies say the bullet came from a private shooting range behind the hills.
It turns out that area where the bullet came from was property owned by Kennewick General Hospital, now known as Trios Health. That area was later closed off as a result of that incident.
The Benton County Sheriff's Office says patrolling the park for hunters or target practice can be difficult since shooting is allowed in some areas nearby.
As for the concerned neighbor, he has advice for everyone who plans to use the park.
“Use it for what it’s for. I mean there’s a lot of guys out here riding bikes. A lot kids, a lot of families’ using the park. There’s water access. You can’t shoot out here. That’s it.”