Man killed at Colorado Springs shooting range
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – The father of a 25-year-old man killed at a Colorado Springs shooting range is calling for federal authorities to close the range.
Otis Freison of Aurora was killed Saturday. Authorities say Freison was shot in the chest while shooting with friends at the Rampart Range Road shooting area, which is on U.S. Forest Service land. The range is in the Pike National Forest, near the Garden of the Gods park.
“Someone didn’t clear their weapon properly,” El Paso County Sheriff Lt. Lari Sevene told The Denver Post.
“As a general rule, everyone is on the line parallel to each other and their firearms are pointed down range, but this is a public range so there is no oversight,” Sevene said.
That lack of oversight should lead officials to close the range, according to the victim’s father.
Freison’s father, also named Otis Freison, said he didn’t know the range was unsupervised.
“I thought this was a supervised club and now I am finding out that this place is a garbage dump, basically,” Freison said. “If you don’t have supervision in a place like that it is dangerous. It absolutely should be shut down.”
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.
In 2006, an article in The (Colorado Springs) Gazette described the range as chaotic and full of trash, from beer cans to computer monitors and refrigerators.
The Forest Service did not immediately comment on whether it would close the range. The Service referred calls to local law enforcement.
The El Paso County District Attorney’s Office will review the shooting to determine if charges should be filed.