Colorado shooting range closed after man’s death
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – The U.S. Forest Service has indefinitely closed a shooting range where a man was accidentally shot and killed.
Pike National Forest Supervisor Bob Leaverton said Tuesday the shooting area on Rampart Range Road in Colorado Springs will undergo a safety review.
Otis Freison, 25, of Aurora, was shot in the chest at the unsupervised range Saturday. El Paso County authorities said the shooting appears accidental. No criminal charges have been filed.
But the incident has led to calls – including from Freison’s father, also named Otis Freison – to close the range. Leaverton said Tuesday the closure would take effect immediately, with barbed wire being installed to keep shooters out of the area.
“I felt it appropriate in light of the accident,” Leaverton said.
The shooting range, opened in 1990, is used by 40,000 people a year. Leaverton said a panel will be assembled to review safety at the range. No reopening date has been announced.
A National Rifle Association-sponsored shooting range adviser inspected the trash-strewn site in April 2007, according to a decision memo on the Forest Service Web site.
The adviser “recommended that supervision on site was needed immediately,” the memo said.
Leaverton said Tuesday he wasn’t ready to say whether supervision would be added but that officials would “maybe take a more thorough look at the use of the area.”
Shooters in the area getting ready for hunting season may call the Forest Service for tips on other ranges in the area, he said.
“This is a hard decision, folks,” Leaverton said. “We’re coming up on hunting season. … It’s really an awkward time to be doing this, and I want you to know we are empathetic to that.”
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