Conroe gun range owner laughs off concerns after visitors take cover when bullets start flying

Brooke Taylor Image
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
2 fathers and sons take cover when bullets fly at Conroe gun range
Two dads feared the worst when bullets started flying around the gun range they took their sons to. But the owner said he's not making changes.

CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- A day at the gun range turned into a nightmare for two fathers who took their sons skeet shooting and ended hiding behind cars, terrified for their lives as they heard bullets fly toward them.

"It was terrifying. I was scared to death for my son and (my friend's) his kids," Mitchell Davis said.

Davis and Jason Smock took their sons to the Thunder Gun Range on FM 1314 in Conroe. Everything was going great until about 30 minutes before they were about to leave.

"It reminded me of the sound of like a 22-round going off pretty close to me," Davis said. "Nobody else noticed it. We are at a gun range; I get it. Nearly 20 seconds after, I hear a ricochet round. The difference between ricochet and live round is very distinct."

Davis said they all became nervous. Fearing for their lives, they dropped their guns and hid behind nearby cars with their kids.

"We piled up behind the trucks, we get the kids," Davis recalled. "We are hiding behind trucks. I am like, 'Dude, we are at a gun range, and people are shooting at us.'"

As they took cover, Davis called the main number and said that management did not show any urgency or show any real concern.

"I am like, 'Cease fire. We are on the shotgun range taking live rounds,'" Davis said. "The guy is like, 'OK, I will look into it,' and he hangs up."

They said nearly 20 minutes went by before they stopped hearing the gunfire.

"The main issue is they didn't seem to care. They said they were busy," Smock said. "We understand that, but we are fearing our life out here."

But this isn't the first time something like this has happened. ABC13 learned that on Jan. 11, just more than a week before, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office responded to the gun range for a separate incident after someone got hurt.

The gun range owner told ABC13 over the phone that the man was shooting a rifle too close to his face and was hit by a cartridge. The man had to be taken to the hospital but is OK, according to the sheriff's office. The owner told ABC13 it was human error and it was "more funny than anything."

Both men shared what happened to them because they fear someone could get hurt soon if the owner does not better address safety concerns.

"They need to reassess their protocols and safety situations," Davis said. "If they can't do that, they do need to shut down. There are too many people who go to that range."

Neighbors at a nearby subdivision told ABC13 they have had stray bullets hit their homes and have complained to the gun range owner before. The owner told ABC13 that the concerns were "not a big deal" and was not looking to make any changes.

For updates on this story, follow Brooke Taylor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.