ANDERSON — Last Saturday, Mel and Lois Imel were watching television at approximately 6:25 p.m. when bullets riddled their house.
Lois Imel heard a loud boom and heard a bullet whistle over her head.
“She told me to roll over and I called 911,” Mel Imel said of the incident that saw three bullets shatter the front window.
One of the bullets struck a wall, another shattered items in a curio cabinet and a third passed through the couch where Mel Imel had been seated seconds earlier.
“We feel lucky to be alive,” he said. “The first bullet went right over Lois’ head.”
The Imels said Monday that a bullet traveled over the head of a Chesterfield reserve officer while he was at the scene.
“This isn’t the first time it’s happened,” Lois Imel said. “Three years ago we had bullets strike the roof of our home.”
One of the bullets went through a window and embedded in a steel door. A second passed through the couch and landed on the opposite side of the house.
The guns were being fired across a corn field toward their house from the vicinity of County Road 250 North and Bethany Road, the Imels said.
Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger said the incident remains under investigation.
“The original deputies scoured the area and even used Google maps to local a personal firearms range in close proximity on private property,” he said. “That range had more than adequate safety measures in place and we do not believe the rounds came from there.
“Not far away was another location on a different private property which was not necessarily maintained with safety measures and it appeared there had been recent activity there,” Mellinger said.
He said the property owner was questioned and denied having fired any weapons in that area for more than a week.
Mellinger said deputies were denied a search warrant because there wasn’t sufficient evidence.
Local resident Helen Wean said area property owners are in the process of forming a neighborhood crime watch organization.
“There were five bullets that hit the house,” she said. “Two hit the brick exterior and three went through the windows.”
Wean said there are two locations in the area where shots are being fired.
“I don’t have a problem with people shooting,” she said. “I have problems with the shooting toward the road and houses.
“Both (Imels) could have been killed,” Wean said. “I drive on that road all the time and a bullet could hit a car.”
She believes it was a high-powered weapon being fired because the bullets traveled a half-mile and traveled through the house.
“Do we need to have an ordinance written?” Wean asked. “We don’t have a real safe feeling since this happened.”