So many people have been demanding to know how this can be legal.
Now, we have some answers, and we’ve found what investigators are trying to find out. Last month, cell phone video captured gunfire and tracers coming from a helicopter. Shots fired over a private gun range in Columbia Station.
Now, we’ve learned a prosecutor will review the case.
Lorain County Sheriff’s Dept. Captain Robert Vansant said, “It’s always good to get a second set of eyes on something like this.”
Deputies plan to finish their investigation. Then, take the case to the prosecutor in Elyria to decide if there should be criminal charges.
Captain Vansant added, “I think its just, inherently, dangerous to fire from a helicopter. But, we have to follow the rules of the law, the letter of the law. And, then, that’s what we have to depend upon.”
The gun range owner told us last week, the gunfire from the chopper was tied to a recording for a social media video.
Brian Lankiewicz told us, “I had a couple sub-machine guns with tracers…”
But, he insisted everything was legal and safe with shots fired into areas with big mounds of dirt.
He added, “My fault was, I probably should have let the township know and the sheriff’s department know ahead of time. And, everything we were doing, we were shooting down into the mounds which is way safer than shooting from the ground.”
Meantime, we checked with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA said shooting from a helicopter is “not prohibited” under FAA regulations as long as “reasonable precautions” are taken “to avoid injury or damage.”
Two Columbia Township trustees told us, they don’t think hey can stop this under Ohio law either.
Although Trustee Tony Manning said, “It’s kinda escalating. This was off the charts.”
Now, a prosecutor may decide if it was, in any way, illegal.