A Mason County man is behind bars facing 90-counts of wanton endangerment after allegedly firing toward police at a shooting range.
Mason County deputies were called to the law enforcement shooting range on Jericho Road outside of Point Pleasant around 10:30 Thursday night.
“Their original call was they were pinned down,” said Mason County chief deputy Dave Downing. “The range is basically down in a big hole and this guy had elevation on them which made for a really bad tactical situation.”
Deputies arrived and arrested Richard Thomas, 58, of Point Pleasant. Police said Thomas lives across the road from the range and apparently became irritated that the late-night gunfire was keeping him awake.
“They were doing their bi-annual firearms qualification and apparently he took exception to it and decided to join in,” said Downing.
Investigators said Thomas fired a 20-gauge shotgun form his back porch in the general direction of the range. None of the officers was hit, but some of the shotgun pellets landed on one of the officers’ personal vehicles and on a cruiser. Police said he also fired a .22 caliber weapon in their direction.
There were nine police officers in the pit when the shooting started. Downing said Thomas discharged 10 shots and therefore faces 90 counts.
The police officers are required to qualify with their weapons twice a year. One of those qualifications is in the day, the other is a night fire exercise.
Thomas remained in jail Friday morning.