Police urge firearm safety after resident is struck by stray bullet

BEDFORD – Chief John Bryfonski and the Bedford Police Department are urging residents to be mindful of handling and discharging firearms after a resident was recently struck, but not injured, by a stray bullet.

On Jan. 16, at approximately 3:51 p.m., police responded to the Irving gas station, 4 Technology Drive, for a report of a person getting struck by what was initially described as a BB. Upon further investigation, police located a .40 caliber bullet, which is believed to be the projectile that struck the victim, who was not seriously hurt.

Police conducted an investigation, but were unable to determine where the bullet was fired from, as patrons in the area did not see or hear anything suspicious around the time of the incident.

Bedford Police believe the bullet was fired from some distance away, and police do not believe this was an act of violence or intentional.

Police believe that it is likely that someone who may have been hunting or target shooting was careless.

Chief Bryfonski is urgently asking the public to adhere to firearm safety rules, which ensure that firearms are always discharged in a safe manner and that those shooting are always aware of what lies beyond their target.

"Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt this time, but the careless use of firearms can have tragic consequences," Chief Bryfonski said. "We are asking residents to use extreme caution and follow all safety precautions when handling or discharging firearms, as accidents happen too easily and too often. If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact the Bedford Police Department."

According to New Hampshire gun laws, a person is guilty of unlawfully discharging a firearm if such person discharges a firearm within a compact part of a town or city without written permission from the chief of police or governing body. "Compact parts" include nonresidential and commercial buildings, outdoor public gathering places, and any contiguous area containing six or more buildings.

Anyone with information about this incident or questions about New Hampshire gun laws should contact Bedford Police at 472-5113.