The Snohomish County Council on Wednesday will consider expanding a no-shooting zone to include land north and east of the city of Monroe. The yellow area on the map shows the county’s current no-shooting zone. The red-hatched area shows the proposed expansion, where shooting would become illegal. The gray area is the city of Monroe, where shooting is already illegal. (Snohomish County)

The Snohomish County Council on Wednesday will consider expanding a no-shooting zone to include land north and east of the city of Monroe. The yellow area on the map shows the county’s current no-shooting zone. The red-hatched area shows the proposed expansion, where shooting would become illegal. The gray area is the city of Monroe, where shooting is already illegal. (Snohomish County)

After bullet nearly hits child, ‘no-shooting’ zone may expand

The Snohomish County Council is weighing the measure for areas on the outskirts of Monroe.

MONROE — Snohomish County leaders are considering an expansion of a “no-shooting” zone near the city after a stray bullet whizzed through a backyard cookout on July 4.

The measure, slated for a public hearing before the County Council on Wednesday, would enlarge the area to include two swaths of land just north and east of the city’s boundaries.

Councilman Sam Low introduced the emergency ordinance on Monday after meeting with residents this summer in the wake of the July 4 incident, which happened in the Eaglemont community.

The bullet flew past a 4-year-old girl and shattered a sliding glass door to the family’s home while they were celebrating the holiday with guests outside, said Elly Britt, who lives next door.

“We got lucky that this incident missed her. But I don’t think we can take chances on someone getting hit or actually killed before we do something about this,” said Britt, who is urging the council to pass the measure.

Eaglemont is just inside the border of Monroe, where shooting is already illegal. But the bullet came from an unincorporated area just outside of the city boundary.

Similar incidents have occurred nearby in the past five years. In October 2016, an illegal shooting happened close to a home and horses on private property. Then again in December 2018, another stray bullet entered a home north of Eaglemont while a resident was inside.

Proponents of the expansion, including Sheriff Adam Fortney, say it would protect residents of Eaglemont and other new subdivisions that have cropped up as Monroe’s population has grown in recent years.

“People need to feel safe in their homes and community, and this community doesn’t because there is one or two or more (people) who are reckless,” said Low, whose district includes the city and its outskirts.

If the measure passes, shooting would become illegal in the area north of Woods Creek Road, west of Ingraham Road and south of Brown Road — three roads that make up part of the existing boundary of the nearest no-shooting zone. The zone would also be expanded westward to include land west of Chain Lake Road and north of the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.

County code outlines no-shooting areas on unincorporated, non-federal lands throughout the county. Firing a gun in the zones is a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of $500.

Under state law, shooting in a manner that threatens any person or property can also result in arrest for assault or reckless endangerment.

The council voted unanimously on Monday to postpone a final decision on the measure to allow time for a public hearing on the issue.

The hearing will be held via the online videoconference platform Zoom at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The link to join the virtual meeting can be found in the agenda, posted at snohomishcountywa.gov/2288/Meetings-Webcasts.

Rachel Riley: 425-339-3465; rriley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @rachel_m_riley.

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