Crime

Atascadero gunfire turned out to be backyard target shooting, police say

Brian Scott Sims, 24, of Atascadero was arrested Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, on suspicion of felony discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and a city municipal code violation of discharging a firearm within city limits. Original story »
Brian Scott Sims, 24, of Atascadero was arrested Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, on suspicion of felony discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and a city municipal code violation of discharging a firearm within city limits. Original story »

Two people were arrested early Thursday morning after police say they were target practicing with a high-powered rifle in a residential area at nearly 3:30 a.m., causing a flurry of 911 calls and a response by SWAT.

No one was injured and no property was damaged in the incident, but officials flooded the scene and warned residents in the area to stay indoors via reverse 911 calls.

Christopher Lee Stephens, 28, and Brian Scott Sims, 24, both of Atascadero, were arrested on suspicion of felony discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and a city municipal code violation of discharging a firearm within city limits.

According to the Atascadero Police Department, officers received reports of multiple shots fired in rapid succession on the 11000 block of Halcon Road starting at 3:27 a.m.

Shots were still being fired when officers arrived to the scene. Hearing bullets impacting nearby, officers at first thought they were being fired upon. Members of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and the CHP were called in to assist and they quickly set up a perimeter around the residence. A BearCat armored vehicle from the San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT Team was also deployed to the scene.

All four occupants of the home eventually surrendered. A search warrant was secured for the home and officers discovered an AR-15 rifle with approximately 40 spent shell casings in the backyard of the home.

Atascadero Police Sgt. Jason Carr said Thursday afternoon that Stephens and Sims had been firing at bottles in the back yard. He said the other two occupants of the home are not suspected to have been involved.

As of late Thursday afternoon, both men remained in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail each.

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