PORTER TOWNSHIP | Two Valparaiso-area men were taken into custody Friday on accusations of recklessly firing an AK-47 assault rifle along with other guns within 1,000 yards of about a dozen homes.
James Ramirez, 24, of 183 Goodview Drive, and David Baldwin Jr., 29, of 181 Goodview Drive, each face a felony count of criminal recklessness, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Department.
Authorities said they responded to a complaint about gunfire in the area Goodview Drive just southwest of Valparaiso at 6 a.m. but did not find anything. A complainant then showed up at the station at 8:30 a.m. and told officers two men had been shooting guns recklessly in that same area.
Investigators said when they visited 183 Goodview Drive, Baldwin said he and Ramirez had been shooting a gun he had recently acquired. That gun was identified as a .22-caliber rifle.
While the men initially claimed they had shot the gun three or four times, they later admitted they had "emptied" a 25-round high capacity magazine, police said. The admission came after police discovered the magazine.
Baldwin also said he and Ramirez had shot a 9 mm handgun and the AK-47 rifle, authorities said.
Sheriff's officers said the pair failed to take precautionary safety steps while shooting the guns.
Rounds from the AK-47 can travel four to five miles and remain accurate up to 1,000 yards, according to authorities.
In addition to the nearby homes in the area where the two were shooting, investigators said County Road 200 West runs parallel to the subdivision.