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Heather Sitton: Indiantown mother files lawsuit after being shot by stray bullet from backyard shooting range

Weapons used include AR-15, AK-47
Posted at 10:56 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 09:28:07-04

INDIANTOWN, Fla.  — An Indiantown mother has filed a lawsuit against a group of people who she said played a role in her being shot by a stray bullet in January.

Heather Sitton was in her backyard with her children and animals when she said people doing backyard target practice at a neighboring property missed the berm and a stray bullet struck her from several hundred yards away.

She is still on a long road to recovery.

"Still a lot of pain, still a lot of limitations," Sitton said.

The bullet went through her collarbone and shoulders, making routine tasks tough to do.

"In the moment, I was thankful I was still alert," Sitton said. "I had some hope. I really thought that was it for me."

The shooting has also made her three young children worried about being outside.

"My children are often fearful," Sitton said.

Sitton hired attorneys Danielle Sherriff and Gary Lesser to sue Americas Underground Construction & Farming LLC, which the lawsuit said owns the 30-acre Indiantown property where the shooting activity occurred.

Heather Sitton with attorneys Gary Lesser and Danielle Sheriff
Heather Sitton sits with her attorneys Gary Lesser and Danielle Sheriff as Sheriff speaks to WPTV about a lawsuit they've filed stemming from a January incident that left Sitton wounded by a stray bullet, June 21, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"You're responsible for every bullet that leaves that gun," Sherriff said.

They are also suing the owners of the guns and four men who investigators said all took turns firing weapons on the day Sitton was shot.

The weapons used included an AR-15 and AK-47.

The lawsuit said all parties should have known that firing weapons in the proximity to and direction of nearby homes was hazardous.

A berm on the property was 5 feet high. The lawsuit said the property owners should have built a safer barrier in a direction away from Sitton's home.

"In our opinion, they violated the legal duty they owed to Heather and her family," Lesser said. "Those bullets can fly over a mile. Sometimes over 2 miles."

State laws makes it legal to have backyard shooting areas, but reasonable measures need to be taken to make sure a person knows what's beyond the property.

"To shoot at a target at a boundary of another homeowner, regardless of the size of the lot, is extremely irresponsible," Lesser said.

WPTV contacted everyone listed in the lawsuit. No one was ready to comment.

"Gun ownership is a huge responsibility," she said. "It needs to be a safe responsibility."

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said it did not pursue criminal charges because the shooting was accidental in nature.