A Dunnellon man taking target practice with a 9mm handgun outside his house was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm in public after neighbors’ homes were peppered with bullets.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded to a report of a shooting near SW 152nd Place, where a resident said he and his family were inside their home when they heard gunshots and something strike the wall of his residence. While speaking with the victim, the deputy heard several more gunshots and the bullets striking a neighbor’s shed to the west of where the deputy was standing, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The deputy then went to the source of the gunshots, 15193 SW 90th Ave., and approached the shooter – 57-year-old Michael Mark Fleiss – as he had just reloaded and was beginning to shoot again. Fleiss heard the deputy give him a command to drop his weapon and he complied, the report said.
The deputy secured the firearm and asked Fleiss what he was doing. Fleiss said he was, “target practicing.” Asked why he was shooting towards his neighbors’ residences, Fleiss said he had a backstop. The deputy observed the ground was raised about 18 inches and Fleiss’ paper targe was about 6 feet off the ground, according to the report.
The deputy told Fleiss there’s no backstop where he is shooting and he was hitting two of his neighbors’ residences. Fleiss said he didn’t know anyone lived behind where he was shooting. The deputy asked, “You do not see the house on the left and the building 200 feet behind your target or hear the dogs behind your target?” Fleiss said he didn’t realize they were that close, the report said.
A deputy checked out the first house on SW 152nd Place and noticed at least 10 holes in the shed and carport and recovered one bullet from inside the shed. At the second house, the deputy saw one bullet hole in the rear of the residence going into a bedroom wall. A total of 28 9mm spent casings were recovered from the scene, along with a Smith and Wesson 9mm M&P Shield semi-automatic pistol and two loaded magazines, according to the report.
Fleiss taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released early Tuesday on $1,000 bond.