Harvey gun range raises concerns after bullet found in neighborhood

There are concerns over a Harvey gun range located on park district property after two incidents of bullets ending up in a nearby neighborhood.
January 17, 2014 3:36:12 PM PST
There are concerns over a suburban gun range located on park district property in south suburban Harvey. There have now been two incidents of bullets ending up in a nearby neighborhood.

Historically speaking, this gun range is a flash point between the City of Harvey and the Harvey Park Districts. The two different government agencies have had a rocky past. Now, however, a Harvey resident is concerned after making a disturbing discovery.

A Harvey gun range is open, and that's what worries Robert Aguilar, who moved into this trailer two weeks ago.

"I'm worried about the bullets coming into my window," said Aguilar.

The trailer park is next to the gun range. A sign warns residents about the danger. It's a risk Aguilar says he experienced first-hand on Saturday.

"I was inside doing dishes when I heard a pebble hit the window, I came out, looked around and investigated," said Aguilar. "When I looked down, the bullet sitting was sitting on the floor."

Aguilar took a picture of what he says is the bullet and filed a police report.

"The Harvey Police Department is investigating reports related to possible by-products of the range leaving the containment of that range," said Deputy Chief Jason Banks, Harvey Police Department.

The Harvey Park District owns the range.

"The important points to be made here is the speculation, number one, that you find a bullet casing, and if you walk around this area, where there is a lot of gang activity and a lot of gunfire, I think you will find a lot of gun casings," said Rick Hammond, Harvey Park District's attorney.

The park district leases it to a private company, which says it currently has contracts with the Department of Justice and Illinois State Police.

"I think they're doing a great job, and I think that safety wise, they are right on target of what we've asked for as a park district and also from our attorneys," said Commissioner Anthony McCaskill, Harvey Park District.

The park district used to lease this range to the Harvey Police Department, but park district officials say that legal relationship ended in 2010. The police chief has asked all parties involved to attend an emergency meeting. The park district officials say they've asked for meetings in the past. However, if one is scheduled now, all sides say they'll attend.