Bullet hole found at Hillsboro school district office

Police believe stray shot from hunting was the cause

News editor

Hillsboro USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble was working the morning of Dec. 7 when he heard an unexplained bang.

“I heard a sound I’d never heard before,” he said.

He looked around for the cause, but with no luck. On Dec. 9, district office staff found the cause. There was a bullet hole about 3/8 of an inch wide through the south exterior wall of the building, and another through an interior wall.

Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning said there was no evidence it was malicious. The size and location of the bullet hole, direction it came from, and fact that it is firearm season for deer hunting led police to determine it was a stray shot from deer hunting.

Noble said police estimated the bullet was fired from about ¾ of a mile southwest of the office, somewhere south of the municipal airport hangar. He said that sounded probable, because the bang he heard wasn’t the sound of a gun firing.

Certified hunter safety instructor Evan Yoder of rural Peabody said a hunter likely shot at a deer on a hill and missed. When that happens, a bullet can travel up to 2 miles, he said.

Yoder, who is also principal at Hillsboro Elementary School, said his hunter safety classes talk about scenarios like this a lot. He said hunters should always know what is behind what they are shooting at, and what they will hit if they miss. If they don’t know, they shouldn’t take the shot, he said.

“That’s just the scenario we don’t want to see,” Yoder said.

He said he plans to use this as an example in future hunter safety classes.

Noble agreed with Yoder’s concerns.

“I am a deer hunter,” Noble said. “We need to know what is our backdrop. We need to know what is past the horizon.”

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