Stray-bullet report investigated after legislators' Ogden gun range event

Jan 30 2014 - 10:12am

Images

Eric Jones, a firearms instructor, talks to legislators and their family members Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 at the Swanson Tactical Training Facility. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
People have dinner at  the Swanson Tactical Training Facility Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, during an event hosted by the Weber County Commissioners. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
People get food Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 at the Swanson Tactical Training Facility, during an event hosted by Weber County Commissioners. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
Eric Jones, a firearms instructor, talks to legislators and their family members Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 at the Swanson Tactical Training Facility. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
People have dinner at  the Swanson Tactical Training Facility Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, during an event hosted by the Weber County Commissioners. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
People get food Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 at the Swanson Tactical Training Facility, during an event hosted by Weber County Commissioners. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)

OGDEN -- Police are investigating a report of a stray bullet on Tuesday night at the Pictsweet frozen vegetable plant in Ogden's Industrial Park -- the same evening a dine-and-shoot event was held for state legislators at a nearby shooting range.

Chief Deputy Klint Anderson of the Weber County Sheriff's Office said he's still "short on details," but that a call came in to dispatch on Tuesday night from a Pictsweet plant employee who complained that he heard a bullet whiz by him.

"We're still looking into it," Anderson said. "Right now, it's just a report, that an individual heard a shot and thought it did come close to them."

On Tuesday evening, Weber County commissioners held a dine-and-shoot event, for members of the Utah Legislature, at the Swanson Tactical Training Center in Ogden's Industrial Park. The event featured a 6 p.m. dinner, followed by 7 p.m. target practice. 

The Swanson center is at 2520 N. 1500 West. The Pictsweet plant is at 1277 W. 2350 North, southeast of the shooting range. According to Anderson, the shooting range in question faces north.

So far, no bullet hole or shell has been found.

"We want to talk to this guy in detail and see if we can find a bullet, work backwards, and reconstruct what happened," Anderson said. "We're just as anxious as you to find out what happened."

Holin Wilbanks, public information officer for Weber County, was at Tuesday's dine-and-shoot and said it was her understanding that the caller indicated the shooting happened around 11:30 p.m. She said their event was packed up and out of the Swanson center by 9:30 p.m.

Wilbanks said she didn't know anything about the alleged incident until the next morning. She said they had "an abundance of rangemasters" at the shoot to make sure it was as safe as possible, and that nothing out of the ordinary occurred that evening.

"There wasn't a moment like that," she said.

On Wednesday afternoon, a group of employees in the front office of the Pictsweet plant in Ogden declined comment, saying it was against company policy to speak with the media. They referred all questions to the corporate offices of the frozen-vegetable company, in Bells, Tenn.

The Standard-Examiner was unable to reach Pictsweet president Wesley F. Eubanks on Wednesday.

Cindy Purcell is president of the Swanson Family Foundation, which owns the nonprofit tactical training center but is seeking to sell it to the county for about $3.8 million. Purcell said she'd heard a rumor about something happening at an event on Tuesday evening, but knew none of the details.

"I heard a question about an incident last night, but I don't know anything about it," she said.

She referred questions on the incident to Eric Jones of the Weber County Sheriff's Office, who was in charge of Tuesday evening's event. Jones was unavailable for comment.

All of the Ogden Pictsweet employees asked about the incident said the report of a stray bullet was news to them.

When asked, "So there wasn't an incident with a stray bullet from the Swanson Tactical Training Center?" one employee said, "Not this year."

Purcell did confirm there was one other incident -- "I'm not even sure I'd call it an incident," she said -- a couple of years ago at the training center.

"We closed the range and re-engineered it, and we've had absolutely no problems since," she said.

Contact reporter Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/mark.saal.

From Around the Web

  +