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Gatesville gun range owner faces five charges

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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:51 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Audrey Spencer

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE - Shooting is prohibited at a gun range after its owner was arrested following multiple complaints about stray bullets.

Robert Louis Cantu, 61, owner of Ranger Range on Brandy Lane, was charged with five counts of deadly conduct earlier this week, according to a statement from the Coryell County Sheriff's Office Friday.

"We've got people with bullet holes in their vehicles, bullet holes in their houses," said Coryell County Sheriff Johnny Burks on Friday. "The county attorney and district attorney finally decided to proceed with charges before someone got hurt."

To date, no one has reported being injured, but several residents to the north and west of the range have had damage to property and animals due to uncontained shooting.

A horse belonging to Drew Paige, whose family owns property to the north and northwest of the range, was struck in the jaw by a stray bullet a year ago. Paige said she's found bullets in driveways around her property.

"I've been in the tack room at the end of January, cleaning it out, and a bullet hit the tin roof over our heads," she said Friday. "I also found one at the bottom of a tree."

The sizes of the bullets vary, with reports including 9 mm and .45-caliber rounds.

John Fulton lives west of the range and found a bullet stuck in his shed door and a hole through the bumper of his wife's car.

"I kept hearing bullets whiz over my backyard," he said. "We've been fighting this range deal for four years. First we complained about the noise. It was constant all day long, just bang, bang, bang."

Fulton, a gun owner himself, said both bullets were from automatic pistols.

"Luckily, none of us have been hit," he said.

Fulton's neighbor, Wayne Buckner, said the taillight of his wife's car was shot out while it was parked in his garage.

"I walk every morning, and when they start shooting, you can hear the bullets going through the trees," he said. "It's just been a nightmare. You can't go outside."

Bullets have reportedly hit the windows of Coryell Memorial Hospital's residential living area. The bullets were stopped by the double-paned windows, but the hospital, located south of the range, shouldn't be in the direction of shooting activities, said Burks.

"Right now, we don't have evidence other than the information already received from the people who have damage to property from bullets," said Burks.

Cantu's bond was set at $25,000, split evenly between his five charges, according to a release.

His wife, Kilsun Cantu, 58, also was arrested and charged with assault on a public servant after interfering with her husband's arrest, according to police reports. Her bond was set at $5,000. Both individuals paid the bonds and were released.

Contact Audrey Spencer at aspencer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476.

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