The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the man charged in the latest incident of target shooting that ended with bullets leaving a private range and striking elsewhere—this time, the shoulder of a woman.
William R. Hymes III, 24 of Ashburn, was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confiscated handguns and a rifle that were used during the shooting, but has not responded to a request for more specific information about the weapons. The incident occurred Sunday, Sept. 7.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, two adult males and two adult females were shooting into a natural berm. The bullet, which is estimated to have been shot from 1,800 to 2,000 feet away, grazed the woman’s shoulder and may have then ricocheted off the victim’s house. She was treated at the scene and did not require further medical treatment.
It is only the latest is a series of incidents in which bullets from target shooting ranges have left the shooter’s property and struck somewhere else, including an incident in late 2018 in which fully automatic weapon fire struck homes in Willowsford. At two of those houses, people were home. One family was outside, and one person lying on the couch holding his baby when a bullet struck nearby.
The shots were fired from Gable Farm, the same property that has been criticized for its use as an inadequately-regulated dumping ground. The area is permitted as a personal recreation field; in practice, it is piled high with fill dirt. In October 2018, the county Department of Building and Development issued a Stop Work Order on the site, and the Department of Planning and Zoning issued a Notice of Violation.
The property owner’s plans to bring the site into compliance since then have not been accepted by the county, and in May the county fined the property owner $800 for zoning violations.