Bullet meant for muskrat sails into woman's home

2013-04-23T14:15:00Z 2013-04-23T18:47:38Z Bullet meant for muskrat sails into woman's homeStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 23, 2013 2:15 pm  • 

A bullet fired at a muskrat in a Michigan City-area pond skipped off the water and into a neighbor's home with a woman inside.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department said no one was injured, but they will present the case to prosecutors, who will determine whether to file charges.

Brandi Morlan, 27, who lives in the 4800 block of North 600 West in LaPorte County's Center Township, told police she was sitting in her living room just after 5 p.m. Monday when she heard a gun shot. She walked into her kitchen and discovered a hole in the wall.

After calling 911, she said her neighbor walked into her yard, apologizing for the shooting and offering to pay for all of the repairs.

According to authorities, the neighbor told the officer he's been having problems with muskats tearing up his pond and eating all of his fish.

Seeing a muskrat swimming in his pond, the neighbor said he retrieved a rifle from his home and loaded it with a slug, according to investigators.

After firing and missing the muskrat, the neighbor told the officer the slug skipped off the water and struck the back of the woman's home.

Police said the bullet penetrated the outside wall at her back patio, traveled across the kitchen before embedding itself in the wall between her kitchen and living room.

Morlan said Tuesday it could have been a closer call had the angle of the flying projectile been different.

"If it would have come in straight it would have been a different story," said Morlan, who did not offer further comment.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Shawn Brown said firing a gun over the water is illegal due to the threat of a bullet skipping across the surface.

However, a gun can be fired over the water if the shooter is in legal pursuit of game.

"It's like a rock. If you threw a rock like kids do and skip them across the water, that's the same thing a round can do on the water," Brown said.

He said muskrat can be taken at any time if they are posing a nuisance.

According to authorities, the report will be presented to prosecutors to determine whether to pursue charges of criminal recklessness.

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