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Rifle bullet sails through Oxford Woods home

Oxford resident Michelle Hrischuk points to the bullet hole in her son Corey’s bedroom window. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
July 06, 2011 - "Shocked . . . upset . . . sick to my stomach."

That's how Michelle Hrischuk described her feelings after it was discovered Monday night that a bullet from a high-powered rifle had penetrated her home in the Oxford Woods subdivision.

"Needless to say I didn't sleep last night because all the (Fourth of July) fireworks we're going off," she said on Tuesday. "Our main concern is will it happen again? It shouldn't have happened to begin with."

But Hrischuk's also counting her blessings that no one was killed or injured, especially since the bullet went through the bedroom of her son Corey, a 2010 Oxford High School graduate.

"I could be holding a picture of my son, saying he's gone because of this accident," she said. "That's what's in the back of my head . . . It's just a miracle that nobody was killed. My kids are up there all the time."

Sometime during the day on Sunday, July 3 (or possibly on Saturday, July 2), the bullet entered the Hrischuk residence on Somerville Drive.

It entered on the west side of the house through a double-pane window in her son's second-floor bedroom.

"We know it didn't happen (Saturday) night because it would have (gone) through his bedroom door. He keeps it closed," Hrischuk noted. "We're pretty darn sure it happened Sunday during the day."

After crashing through the window, the bullet sailed over the bed and traveled through an open doorway into the hallway, where it went through a wall and into a bathroom, then penetrated a linen closet door. The spent bullet was found inside the linen closet where it had struck the edge of a shelf.

"We found the bullet in our sheets in the linen closet," Hrischuk said.

Both of Hrischuk's sons spotted the damage to the bathroom at different times on Sunday, but didn't say anything to their parents until Monday night.

"They each thought the other did something to the bathroom," Hrischuk said. "They didn't know it was a bullet (hole). Who would think that?"

According to the Oakland County Sheriff's report, the spent bullet appears to be approximately .30 caliber, "the type of round fired from a high-powered rifle . . . possibly from a hunting rifle or from an AK-47 assault rifle."

In his report, the deputy noted it's impossible to know the precise location from which the bullet was fired. All that's known is it came somewhere from the west.

Hrischuk said the deputy told her the bullets could have come from as far as a mile away.

"We are hearing, almost every single weekend since spring, what sounds like a firing range that's west of Oxford Woods – more towards the Stanton or Coats area. Everyone's been complaining," she noted. "It sounds like target practice. It sounds like a semiautomatic (firearm)."

The home was unoccupied when the bullet entered, leaving behind shards of broken glass and bits of drywall. The Hrischuks were at a neighbor's house located two houses behind their residence. "No one heard or saw anything," Hrischuk said.

Hrischuk decided to approach the newspaper with this story in order "to show exactly why you cannot fire a high-powered rifle" in this area.

"I don't want it to happen again to anybody, anywhere," he said. "The person (responsible), if they see this article, is certainly not going to call up and say, 'Hey, it was me.' But now that they see the damage, hopefully they're smart enough to go, 'Oh my gosh, that was me. I'll never do that again.'"

"I think it's somebody who went outside to do target practice and they missed," Hrischuk noted. "If (a bullet) goes up or out, it's going to land somewhere and through my house is not a good spot for it."

Hrischuk made it clear she is not anti-gun.

"Guns don't bother me," she said. "I'm all for it if they have enough land. I'm not against guns in any way."

"I just don't want this to happen again and have somebody get hurt," Hrischuk said.

Although Hrischuk "would love to know who did it," she isn't holding out any high hopes of finding the culprit.

"I don't feel like we're going to find the person," she said. "But this person's going to know they did it if they happen to get the Leader or they hear people talking. This is a small community. Everyone knows everybody. Someone's going to read this article and know they're the one who fired that bullet. It didn't come from more than a mile away."

If the responsible party is found, they could face a misdemeanor charge of careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms, according to Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Patterson, commander of the Oxford Township substation.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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