Suffolk County Police Investigating Whether Shot Came From Nearby Shooting Range; Questions About Safety Abound

RIDGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County police are investigating a possible stray bullet from a gun range.

It is believed to have struck a car at a nearby classic car show attended by hundreds of people, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday.

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It’s a vintage car with a brand new problem — a large ding from what appears to be a stray bullet.

“You heard bullets all day. You heard the range all day,” Greg Passannante said.

The owner of this 1952 Oldsmobile claims it was struck by a stray bullet during a classic car show in Suffolk County. (Photo: CBS2)

Passannante was proudly displaying his 1952 Oldsmobile at a classic car show in a park right next to the Long Island Shooting Range in Ridge.

“Anyone could have been hit there. I don’t care about the car. It can be replaced. But everyone was there. There were hundreds of people,” Passannante said.

“Crazy, because it could have been someone getting shot,” added Passannante’s son, Dominic.

The 10-year-old and his dad said onlookers heard something ricochet off the car fender. They combed through the grass and found a bullet, with the cars teal paint on it.

“You’re at a car show, not knowing that a bullet can come from anywhere,” wife Joanne Passannante said. “You think it’s a safe place, but I mean if there are going to be bullets randomly dropping around …”

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While police investigate if the bullet came from the range or elsewhere, the Passannantes question the safety of a public park with a playground adjacent to a gun range. Sand berms and hundreds of feet of woods separate the two properties, but the Passannantes said they are still alarmed.

“It’s a car show. There could have been chairs, people sitting and chatting. The judges were one car away when it happened,” Greg Passannante said.

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The damage to his beloved restored car was not nearly as disturbing as the what ifs people were asking.

“It hit the car at the same height as my 10-year-old’s chest, so I’m just a little scared that anyone could have got hit there,” Greg Passannante said.

The range and park are owned by the town of Brookhaven. Officials said they’re working with Suffolk police and the vendor who operates the gun range to investigate. Town officials said they are not aware of any prior incidents of stray bullets leaving the range.

The East End Olds Club had no comment on whether it will continue to stage the annual event, but Greg Passannante said if so, he won’t be back.

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Suffolk police said they are investigating the source of the bullet.