“This isn’t the Wild West:” Grand Rapids family finds bullet hole in trunk of their car

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 22:35:21-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- It was a scary sight for a family in Kent County after they found a bullet hole in the trunk of their car Thursday morning. The family tells FOX 17 it could've been much worse since they were sitting just 10 feet away from the car for a few hours the previous night.

They don't know where the bullet came from, but they think someone was shooting a gun into the air as their way of celebrating the Fourth of July.

Chris Koops walked out to his wife's car outside their Grand Rapids home around noon on Thursday and made the discovery.

"I came out to get something from the trunk of my wife’s car and hit the clicker, the trunk popped open and something rattled out and fell on my foot and I thought, that’s odd what’s a pebble doing on the trunk?” said Koops.

But he quickly realized it wasn't a pebble.

"I looked down at my foot and it looked like a bullet," said Koops. "I picked it up and thought, that’s strange, it’s still cone-shaped and together. I went and asked my wife since when does she carry a bullet around in her trunk and she said she didn't, and I said, 'Well there’s one there now'.”

Koops walked back to the car and found the bullet hole through the lid of the trunk.

"I was pretty rattled by the whole thing," said Koops. "It was really strange to find that and not something I would expect to find.”

"Generally around New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July are the two times that we hear the increase in sound of gunshots or miscellaneous rounds striking people’s property," said Sgt. Cathy Williams with Grand Rapids Police.

Sgt. Williams says it’s rare for someone to be injured from these rounds, but it’s possible. In fact, three years ago on New Year's Eve, a man was hit in the head from a stray bullet, but luckily wasn’t seriously harmed.

"We want people to think twice before they use gunfire as a means of celebration," said Sgt. Williams.

Koops says his entire family, including his wife and 10-year-old son, are shaken up by the whole thing, especially since they sat just a few feet away on the 4th of July.

"I was sitting right here in this chair, the trunk’s that far away and the car was sitting there all last night, so we know this is where it happened," said Koops. "Definitely scary to be here and know how close that was.”

He’s thankful no one got hurt, but is pretty upset about the $500 deductible they’ll pay to fix the car.

“How stupid can you be to think it’s smart to shoot off live ammunition into the air to celebrate the Fourth of July?" said Koops. "I can think of a million other ways that are smarter and safer. This is not the Wild West.”

Sgt. Williams says they’ve received four calls of people hearing gunshots so far this week and two reports of reckless discharge of a firearm. Anyone who fires a gun in the air can be charged, so if you hear or see anyone doing this they urge you to call Grand Rapids Police at 616-453-3400.