Loud boom startles Jefferson County residents; deputies track down source

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HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. – A loud boom shook the ground and rattled windows in Jefferson County Wednesday afternoon. People were startled, not knowing what had caused it.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department tracked down the source: a home shooting range down a gravel road off of Gravois in House Springs.

The homeowner told FOX 2 his brother was visiting from out of town. They were out shooting around 1 p.m. and saved the best for last: targets containing Tannerite, which explodes when you shoot it.

People beyond the nearby Valley Middle School and surrounding neighborhoods within a couple mile radius were really shaken by one of the explosions.

Though Tannerite is common and legal when used in proper amounts, the sheriff’s department got multiple calls from those who had no idea what was coming or what it was after they heard and felt it.

“Boom! It sounds like an artillery piece going off somewhere in the woods,” said Jim Schmitt, a Vietnam veteran who felt the concussion inside his home more than a mile away.

A deputy checked this out and found nothing illegal, according to a department spokesman.

“It shook my house, scared my mom, scared me, scared my dog,” said Linda Cobb, who lives near the home shooting range. “That scared the heck out of me. I didn’t know if something blew up or what, you know?”

The homeowner told FOX 2 he didn’t mean to scare anybody. He and his brother were just having fun and doing so safely.

“I just hope they see this and realize (you) don’t do that; not in a residential area,” Schmitt said. “There are children here. There are older people. There are jumpy veterans. I don’t see the joy in it.”

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