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Shots across the river

Homeowners along the Willamette River have been concerned about stray bullets being fired onto the Keizer side of the river. They are fearful that someone could get hurt, even testifying before the Keizer City Council  imploring the city to make it stop.

Those concerns were well-founded. A riverfront home was pierced by a bullet, coming within several feet of an occupant before shattering a backsplash in the home’s kitchen.

Polk County Sheriff’s officers were dispatched and cited four men for reckless endangering and released in lieu of arrest. That is of little solace to those who live on the river. No one should live in constant  fear or flinch when they hear a loud noise—that’s no way to live.

The quarry in Polk County has been a favored site for gun enthusiasts for years. After a stray bullet incident in 2017 the owner of the property was alerted and signs were put up on the property to alert shooters about the homes on the other side of the river.

That, obviously, is not enough.  No one’s property or gun rights trump the rights of others to live peacefully and without fear of bullets smashing into their homes or their bodies.

Mayor Cathy Clark and Police Chief John Teague need to form a united front and communicate with the Polk County Sheriff and all the Polk County Commissioners that a solution must be found. It would be better to solve this government official to government official. We would rather see that happen than this incident open a protracted civil action in the courts.

Keizer leaders need to be sure their citizens are safe, nothing is more important.   — LAZ