A bullet shattered the window of The Bake Shoppe, one of six storefronts in the Market Beautiful strip mall in the village of Solon Springs, on Saturday, July 4.
No one was injured, according to a report by Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Souza. The incident was initially reported at 4:18 p.m. July 4.
Ashley Nelson, who co-owns the shop with her husband, Dustin, said the damage was not intentional — it was caused by a stray bullet from people who were shooting on a residential property nearby.
“It was pure negligence,” Nelson said.
No customers were in the store at the time, she said, although a family of three had left minutes before the bullet hit the window. The cashier was in the adjoining shop, Lush Dahlia, when the incident took place. Nelson said the bullet was found under the cashier’s chair in the bake shop while they were cleaning.
“We were very lucky. We are very grateful that all we're dealing with is loss of product,” she said.
When Souza first responded to the call, he could hear what sounded like gunshots in rapid succession coming from north of the nearby NAPA Auto Parts store and going to the south.
“In a 60 second period I counted at least 35 rounds, some of which being in quick back-to-back strings of 10-15 rounds,” Souza reported. “At one point I could hear what sounded like a whistling noise passing near the area I was in, which I believe to be sounds from passing bullets.”
Deputies made contact with the three people on the residential property, which was just north of the bake shop on the other side of a small wooded area. They reported that they had been shooting at clay pigeons with a shotgun and shooting handguns toward the wooded area. Souza said in the report he did not see a shooting burm, backstop or any area where it would be safe to shoot firearms “as you have businesses and homes to the south, Highway 53 to the west, Business 53 to the east and other properties to the north."
The report did not indicate whether the three people who were shooting the guns would be charged, although Nelson said she was told they would face charges.
All of the baked goods and ice cream at The Bake Shoppe were thrown out because of glass shards from the window, Nelson said. The store, which has been open seven days a week, closed for a few days. Nelson said they plan to reopen Wednesday, July 8 at 6:30 a.m. A new custom window has been ordered, she said, and should be delivered in a few weeks.
Market Beautiful’s six storefronts — The Bake Shoppe, Lush Dahlia, Branded Salon, Fit 53, The Elysium and Vibe & Flow Yoga — started opening in May. The business owners are currently preparing for the strip mall’s grand opening celebration July 25.