Backyard target practice prompted shutdown of Atascadero area
October 10, 2014
An early morning target practice session led to the closure of an Atascadero neighborhood and the arrest of two residents Wednesday.
Shortly before 3:30 a.m., Atascadero police responded to calls of shots fired in the 11000 block of Halcon Road in Atascadero. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s SWAT team officers joined Atascadero police and set up a perimeter around the home from which the sound of repeated rifle fire was coming.
Law enforcement officials also locked down nearby areas of the city, including a couple apartment complexes, and sent out robo calls to parents of children in the Atascadero Unified School District. Bus routes in the area also stopped temporarily Wednesday morning.
After officers surrounded the home of interest, four occupants of the house surrendered and officers searched the premisses.
Officers found 40 shell casings in the backyard, as well as an AR-15 rifle. They arrested Atascadero residents Christopher Stephens, 28, and Brian Sims, 24, for discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and booked them into the San Luis Obispo County Jail.
Stephens and Sims also received charges of violating the Atascadero Municipal Code, which prohibits the discharge of a firearm within the city limits.