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Collier County woman: stray bullet misses her, 4-year-old daughter by a few feet

Posted: 6:51 PM, May 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-17 18:51:52-04

GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla. — A Golden Gate Estates woman said she and her four-year-old daughter had a close call Thursday evening, when a stray bullet struck her home, about twelve feet from where they sat on their lanai. She said it happened around 6:30 p.m. on the 3500 block of 54th Avenue Northeast.

"My little one was on my lap, and we started hearing very loud gunshots," said Jennifer Caudillo. "Off to my right, I heard something bounce off the side of my house, and I thought, 'oh my God, I think that was a bullet.'"

Caudillo said she immediately took her daughter inside the house, then tried to talk to the neighbor she believes fired the shot from a property adjacent to her lot.

"I was like 'please stop shooting, you're hitting my house,'" she said. "They would not come talk to me."

She called the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrived and took the bullet into evidence.

"They told me if there were any charges, it would probably be negligent shooting," Caudillo said.

Fox 4 knocked on the door of the neighbor she believes fired the bullet. The person who answered said that the owners of the home were out.

Florida law allows backyard gun ranges on properties of at least one acre. There was no visible evidence of a gun range in the neighbor's yard, such as a berm or other backstop.

Caudillo said she supports more safety requirements for backyard gun ranges, especially for the sake of her children.

"They're not even safe in the backyard, because bullets are flying through the backyard," she said.

Any changes to the law regarding backyard gun ranges would have to be made at the state level. Collier County Commissioner Bill McDaniel told Fox 4 that it's illegal for local governments to propose or pass any law that seeks to supersede a Florida statute.