Students at an East End school are feeling uneasy after the sound of gun shots echoed through classrooms just four days after a gunman shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut.
“The Tuesday after the shooting, our police officers went to a facility to do some gun training,” said Southampton Mayor, Mark Epley.
The private gun range, used for police training, is a quarter mile from Tuckahoe School. The facility, tucked in the woods, has been in the town for 40 years, said the Mayor.
Students and teachers inside the school were left shaken — unaware that practice was underway outside.
“It’s horrific. With everything going on lately the children doesn’t need to be in fear more than they already are,” said Kris Tolarico, who lives near Tuckahoe.
After complaints came pouring in the Mayor decided to take action. He met with the police chief and signed an executive order, eliminating training during school hours.
While many were happy with the Mayor’s move, others in the quaint Hamptons town feel the range, should be shut down for good.
“That’s not happening. I am not going to shut down the range. It is important for our police department,” said Epley.
The range is privately owned and has been in operation for 40 years — but officers can no longer shoot during school hours.
“I think the range is safe and good for our community. I think it should stay,” said Phil Matthews.