Hamilton man hit by stray bullet as neighbour does target practice in backyard

A man was lucky to escape serious injury after a stray bullet flew through the wall of his house, ricocheted off a handrail and hit him in the shoulder.

The Hamilton man is believed to have been walking down some stairs when a bullet from a .22 rifle flew across his backyard and straight through the cladding, lining, GIB and insulation on the side of his house.

It is understood it ricocheted several times before hitting him and had come from a neighbouring property where a man was doing target practice.

Police confirmed they were called last Wednesday following reports a shot had been fired at a home near Hamilton Lake.

The victim, who is in his early 60s and in the midst of selling the home, reportedly told them: “I’ve been shot.”

Once police arrived the man was asked to come outside with his hands in the air. He didn’t require any medical treatment, having escaped with only a graze to his shoulder.

Based on the trajectory from the hole in the wall officers were roughly able to establish the shot had been fired from a nearby property and a police dog was used to help locate the shooter.

Sources say the shooter had several targets set up in his background. It’s believed the rifle had a silencer on it at the time and neighbours the Herald spoke to say they hadn’t heard any shots being fired at the time.

One man, who didn’t want to be named, told the Herald it felt it was concerning there were “idiots out there” firing shots in a built-up residential area.

“Somebody could have been dead because of this.”

A 47-year-old man has since been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and is due to reappear in Hamilton District Court early next year.

Police wouldn’t say if the man had a firearms licence, whether the rifle was legal or if there were any other firearms at the property.

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