Stray bullet from legally owned AR-15 pierces through restaurant dining area

Stray bullet from legally owned AR-15 pierces through restaurant dining area


RICHMOND — A Westerly man is facing criminal charges after police said he improperly fired an AR-15 from the site of the United Builders Supply Company on Kingstown Road, causing stray bullets to enter the dining room of a McDonald’s restaurant more than a third of a mile away.

Shawn G. Lucente, 26, of Westerly, was charged with firing in a compact area and firing a weapon across a public highway. The police said he was cooperative and apologetic after learning of the stray bullets, according to Richmond Police Chief Elwood M. Johnson Jr., and offered to pay for any damage.

According to a police report, officers were called to the McDonald’s at 14 Kingston Road in Wyoming just before 5 p.m. on Thursday after receiving reports that someone had just shot through one of the restaurant windows with a pellet gun. Upon arrival, Cpl. William Litterio could hear gunshots in the distance.

After checking the window, Litterio quickly determined that the damage was caused by a bullet. Police secured the scene and canvassed the area, eventually finding a witness who reported that the shots had come from behind the UBS property at 38 Kingston Road.

Police found Lucente, an employee of Richmond Sand & Stone, who told officers he had permission from the owner to fire his weapon on a remote section of the property. Lucente owned the firearm and is a registered gun owner, the police said.

In a press release, Johnson said that Lucente “had been firing his AR-15 rifle at steel targets with a brush pile as a backstop from an elevated ridge and was unaware that his stray rounds were penetrating the backstop and traveling beyond his employers’ property.”

One of the bullets traveled an estimated distance of 1,950 feet, according to a police report. The bullet went through the dining room window at a height of 7 feet and into a wall at a height of 5 feet before finally coming to a stop.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt,” Johnson said.

Lucente was released on a promise to appear in Fourth Division District Court for arraignment on June 15.

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