A break for New York State Police investigating a rash of flare gun shootings. Since Sunday, someone has been going around the southern part of Clinton County firing a flare gun at targets including homes. Police believe the targets are random and likely for fun, but they say this no joke.
Laura Harrison and her husband were awakened by a loud crash around 3 a.m. Tuesday at their home in Schuyler Falls.
"I thought one of my pictures had fallen off the wall. Street light outside brightens up everything, I didn't see anything so I just turned around and went back to sleep," Laura Harrison said.
When the Harrisons woke up in the morning, they finally figured out what caused the noise in the middle of the night-- a bullet hole; evidence that someone had fired a gun at their home.
"There was the big hole, then I noticed the hole in my wall," Harrison said.
The flare missed Harrison by about 1 foot. Then the couple found another flare lodged in the siding of their home. If it had gone through, it would have landed near their heads as they slept.
"The minute it hit they said it went out, because there was no oxygen," Harrison said.
And the Harrisons aren't alone. Rita Edwards' home in Peru was also targeted in the middle of the night.
"Heard a big boom, thought it was the cat hitting the door. Didn't think anything of it, didn't even get up," Rita Edwards said.
When she woke up, she found charred glass and burn marks on her vacuum cleaner where the flare hit.
"It could have burned the whole place down," she said.
"They burn at a high temperature and are extremely flammable," N.Y. State Police Lt. Brent Davison said.
Flare guns are commonly used by boaters to signal they are in distress. But police say if used in the wrong way-- like in these cases-- they are very dangerous weapons.
"It certainly has the capability of causing serious physical injury and possibly death," Davison said.
Now homeowners in the Plattsburgh area are on edge.
"Frightening, very, but I'm lucky to be here," Edwards said.
A camper with two people sleeping inside was also targeted in Plattsburgh, along with a construction sign. And police say more reports continue to come in.
Late Wednesday night police arrested Corey Burdo, of Plattsburgh, for the shootings. He's being charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
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