Man Shot While Walking Near Police Shooting Range

April 29, 2009 10:15:08 AM PDT
The Tulare County District Attorney's Office has decided not to file charges against the Woodlake Police Department. That's after an Exeter man was shot in the back near a police shooting range earlier this year.The DA's Office concluded no crime was committed when Woodlake Police Officers were firing at a shooting range in Exeter -- even though the report says it appears one of the officer's bullets struck a man in the back.

Leland Perryman's daughters are still in shock over their father getting shot. Dawn Souza said, "First of all he's 68 years old so it's changed his life forever he'll never fully recover from it." Shannon Story said, "We don't take things for granted now."

The District Attorney's Office recently released a report on a shooting from January 16th near the police shooting range off Spruce Avenue in Exeter. That morning, Leland Perryman and his wife were walking in this orchard near their house when Leland was struck in the back. Doctors said the bullet was an inch from his heart.

Shannon Story said, "That's been really hard knowing that you know one more inch and it all could have been different ... for us."

The report states the bullet found in Perryman's chest was from a .40 Caliber Glock -- the same kind of gun used by Woodlake Police Officers at the shooting range that morning. The report also maps out that the officers were shooting at a target placed on an embankment wing -- which is against the rules.

"And none of the officers even questioned the fact that they were shooting in the wrong direction and that it could have been unsafe," said Souza.

Perryman's daughters are also upset that the report states the Woodlake Police Department "would not assist further in the investigation" after officers gave an initial statement. Woodlake Police Chief John Zapalac was advised not to talk to Action News by the city attorney. Dawn and Shannon just hope someone is held responsible for their father getting shot.

"I just hope it ... that there's going to be closure for my dad. I think that's what he needs to help him move on," said Souza.

Leland Perryman still has an increased heartbeat and is being closely monitored by doctors. He and his wife are planning to file a lawsuit claiming negligence.

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