By ALAN SNEL
After LVSportsBiz.com reported on a bicyclist being shot while cycling in a memorial bicycle ride along a remote stretch of south Las Vegas Boulevard in September, a Las Vegas Metro police sergeant said his agency will beef up enforcement of a county law requiring recreational gun shooters on BLM land to be at least a half-mile off the road when discharging their firearms.
“We’ll enforce that more heavily and start issuing citations,” Metro Police Sgt. Mike Seed said on a video posted on Facebook by the Bureau of Land Management as part of BLM’s publicity efforts to promote a clean-up event of that area set for Nov. 4.
The BLM’s community day event is designed to clean up a desert area scarred by debris and to educate recreational gun users on that land that they must be at least a half-mile from Las Vegas Boulevard along that empty stretch of roadway. The half-mile no-shooting buffer is a Clark County law that is supposed to be enforced by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.
A .22 caliber bullet fired by a shooter on BLM land struck a bicyclist during a memorial and safety awareness bike ride called 3 Feet for Pete Sept. 16, when several hundred bicyclists pedaled to remember fallen cyclist Pete Makowski killed by the driver of a gravel truck in 2013.
During the safety ride, bicyclist John Mroz, a 61-year-old teacher from Henderson, was struck by one of the many shots, with the bullet lodging just below his knee.
A bicyclist behind Mroz, Clark County Fire and Rescue Captain Robin Brown, told LVSportsBiz.com that he heard at least six to 12 rounds whizzing by bicyclists during that Saturday morning ride last month.
“The (shooters) were not intending to hurt anyone, but they are lucky they didn’t kill anyone,” Brown said. “Somebody being stupid caused (the bicyclist) harm.”
Metro police did not arrest anyone because there were several groups of shooters on BLM land that September morning near mile marker 15 and police could not identify the person who fired the bullet that struck Mroz. And police said the shooters were not showing malicious intent and not trying to hit the bicyclists with their bullets.
BLM spokesman John Asselin said the agency cleanup event grew out of a meeting in May from people concerned that the BLM land in the half-mile buffer area was being trashed. The BLM hopes to work with volunteers at the Nov. 4 cleanup to remove debris and get signs and barriers installed to instruct shooters to not discharge their guns in the buffer area.
“We want to clean it up and show people that this is not a shooting area,” Asselin told LVSportsBiz.com today.
The BLM said there are now signs near mile marker 15 advising people about not shooting within a half-mile of south Las Vegas Boulevard and that the LVMPD “is enforcing the ordinance.”