Report of ‘shots fired’ is snake shooting

Published 3:00 am Friday, June 1, 2018

When Troy police responded to a call of shots fired at Brundidge Boulevard and Banks Street on Thursday they found a man with a gun – but he wasn’t shooting at people.

“I was shooting at a snake that was wrapped up around this tree,” the man animatedly told officers as they arrived on the scene.

A group of five people stood off in the nearby trees with a couple of officers, pointing to where the snake had reportedly been in the tree, although it was gone by the time officers arrived.

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The officers told the man that it is not lawful to fire a gun within the city limits regardless of the target.

“You’re telling me I can’t protect myself and my family?” the man asked, incredulous. “This is ridiculous. I could have been at work, but I came here to protect my baby. Nobody else was going to kill this snake.”

The man demonstrated to officers how he was shooting straight up in the air, saying that it was safe because the bullet would not be going toward any nearby houses.

Officers explained, however, that the bullet has to come down and could still hurt somebody or potentially damage property.

Discharging a firearm in the city limits is a violation of city ordinance, but the officers calmed the man down and allowed him to go with a warning since he was not firing the weapon at another person or property.

Police Chief Randall Barr said the best bet if a snake is not inside or too near to the home is to simply leave it alone.

“Just stay away from it and, most of the time, the snake will leave on its own,” Barr said. “It’s more scared of you than you are of it, believe it or not.”

However, he said the police department will respond if needed to either relocate or kill the animal.

“We’ll be more than happy to come out and see if we can take care of that problem if need be,” Barr said. “We handle a lot of snake calls this time of the year. Be alert – you could see them anywhere. The season is upon us and they’re moving – people just need to be aware; watch where you put your feet.”