Alleged 'target practice' sends stray bullets through neighborhood, highway

Target Practice Arrest

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - The lives of families were put in jeopardy after bullets flew in their neighborhood; authorities say the accused shooters were firing guns in their backyard.

Sullivan County Sheriff's Department officials told us three people were target shooting in a residential area near a very busy road in Kingsport.

The quiet neighborhood of Merman Road and the busy highway of Fort Henry Drive were caught in a crossfire Monday evening. "One of the residents, along with his young son, had to run back in his home to avoid being hit," said Leslie Earhart, public information officer for the sheriff's department.

Two deputies called to the scene said they had to take cover. Their investigation led to a home on Beechwood Road. "Two adults and a juvenile were apparently outside target practicing with a rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol," added Earhart.

Officials said the targets were pointed toward Fort Henry Drive and Merman Road.

Resident Midge McPherson's home was in the line of fire. "This doesn't need to be happening at all. That worries me for my grandchildren. They were on the trampoline. They were playing outside yesterday and riding their bikes," said McPherson.

We even found bullet holes inside a home on Fort Henry Drive. "His home is located in the area where the suspects were shooting. At this time, that incident is under investigation with additional charges pending," said Earhart.

If you want to target practice with a gun or a rifle, officials say you cannot do it in an area where homes, cars, and people are nearby. Shaken-up residents in Sullivan County are pleading for gun owners to use responsibility and caution.    

21-year-old Christopher Delp and 22-year-old Joshua Quillen, as well as a juvenile, have all been charged with four counts of aggravated assault.

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