By Kevin Williams
There was a disturbing incident last weekend in an Amish settlement in far western Marion County. I've been to this community before. There's a large Amish presence east of Kenton in Hardin County that sort of spills over into Marion County. And it was right at that spot on Codding Road that two bullets from a high caliber weapon were fired at two Amish farmhouses. Right now authorities have far more questions than answers: was this is a random, joy-ride type crime? Was this some sort of hate crime?
Imagine it being 1:30 a.m. and you're snug and secure in your bed and all of the sudden a shot shatters the quiet. The occupants of one of the homes slept through it completely only discovering the bullet hole the following morning. In another home there was a child who was awake at the time and heard the shot and caught a glimpse of a black or dark-colored pick-up truck in the area.
I called Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Al Hayden this morning for some more information and he said that at one of the homes the bullet hit " an upstairs area and the other was through a window on the first floor" I think that is what makes this story chilling is that whoever was firing was doing so quite deliberately, I mean, it is not like they fired into a flowerbed. One of the shot was through a window, the other into an upstairs area where bedrooms are usually located and where the shooter would have to presume occupants were sleeping.
"It is a miracle there was not some sort of tragedy," Hayden said.
Ballistics tests are being conducted which may be able to narrow down the weapon type but, for now, Hayden can only say: "We suspect that it is a larger caliber type weapon." That could be a shotgun, rifle or any other range of weaponry.
The sheriff's office has interviewed the residents several times and haven't found any sort of obvious motivate that would make them targets.
"At this point it is subject to speculation, there is nothing that indicates a hate crime, revenge thing, etc," Hayden says.
But he did say the families were shaken up.
"They were pretty upset, they realize the danger there," Hayden said.
The two homes that were shot are about 1 /4 mile apart from one another. Sheriff Tim Bailey told the Marion Star newspaper:
I think somebody pulled up, fired a shot, (went) down the road, fired another shot, and the reasoning, we don't know," Bailey said.
He did say the two shootings were intentional acts.
"I don't know if it's an isolated incident, or if there was somebody who was drunk or if they're targeting Amish people," Bailey said.
If anyone has any information, you can call Hayden at the Marion County Sheriff's office at 740 382 8244, extension, 5102. Or call the anonymous tips line at 740-375-8477.