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Stray bullet interrupts 3-year-old's birthday party

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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A 3-year-old's birthday party ended when a bullet came out of nowhere and hit a vehicle in the yard where children were playing. It turns out a neighbor was practicing shooting and missed his intended target.

To say that little Addilyn Rose Kelly is the apple of her great-grandmother's eye would be an understatement.

"She's just the sweetest little thing in the world," great-grandmother Rose Bone said.

So you can imagine what was going through her mind when a bullet interrupted the 3-year-old's birthday party March 9.

"I don't even want to think what could have happened," Bone said.

Addilyn and another toddler were playing in the yard. Several other family members were standing by a van in the driveway.

"All of a sudden there was a bullet that came through and hit a van that was sitting (in the driveway)," she said.

That bullet came awfully close to hitting the adults, too.

"They were almost side-by-side and the bullet went right between them," she said.

Bone lives in the city of Murfreesboro, but a few yards away is the Rutherford County line. That's where the gunshot came from on the county side.

According to a sheriff's department incident report, Jared Chilton, 21, was target practicing with a Taurus .38 special handgun on his family's property, something he's done many times before. He told deputies the round missed its target and made it over an embankment. It came to rest in a densely populated subdivision.

"I've been shooting back there my whole life and we've never had a stray bullet," Chilton said in a telephone interview. "It shocked everybody; nobody could believe it happened."

Chilton was cooperative with deputies and was apologetic about what happened, according to the report. The family decided not to press charges, but deputies did.

He was charged with reckless endangerment.

"It's very concerning because next time it may not hit a car, but a person," Bone said.

Chilton was not arrested, but cited and summoned to appear in court April 9.

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