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UPDATED 3:20 P.M.: Gunfire Rattles Sudbury Neighbors

The following information was supplied by the Sudbury Police Department. Where arrests are mentioned it does not indicate a conviction.

Bob Abrams, a representative for J.P.Bartlett Co., Inc., has issued the following statement:

"The Sudbury Police Department and (Lt. Scott) Nix said to me they have made no determination where the shots came from on Tuesday morning.

"The facts from Tuesday are the Sudbury Police Department made no determinations where the shots complained of came from.

"They acknowledged it could have come from other parcels of property. There’s a large parcel to the west of Codman Drive and the police department says it could have come from there.

"Nix has been very specific with me about that fact."

Lt. Scott Nix has also issued the following:

"In further clarifying the circumstances surrounding the report of gunfire please accept the following. 

"Several reports of gunfire were received prompting our response to the north side of Sudbury. Original reports began coming in from the Marlboro Road area but eventually the sound and continued reports led us to believe the source was possibly coming from a parcel of land south of Codman Drive given a previous incident of target shooting involving a particular parcel.  We could not locate any vehicles nor persons involved in the target shooting therefore we could not definitively determine the exact area of origin. Additionally, an officer walked a considerable part of several parcels in the area and could not find any indication of target shooting.

"In speaking with a representative one of the parcels, he indicated no one who has permission to use the land for target shooting was doing so on Tuesday morning.

"The recent incident resulted in a number of residents from the area who called and/or came to the station to express their continued concern for target shooting in the area from any property. We explained there are currently no applicable statutes/bylaws that would allow us to restrict target shooting on the parcel possibly in question and the owner ensures us they are doing so in a safe responsible manner.  We will continue to investigate instances of reported gunfire in an attempt to determine its origin and circumstances."

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The Sudbury Police Department would like to clarify some facts in relation to the report of the gunshots reported near Codman Drive.

The parcel of land is in fact south of Codman Drive and is currently a non-residential piece of property.

A representative of that property told police he knows all of the people who have legal permission to use the property for target shooting and none of them were target shooting on Tuesday.

"There is no law or restrictions to stop that type of behavior," Lt. Scott Nix said.

Below is the original story.

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The Sudbury Police Department was flooded with numerous calls late Tuesday morning from Marlboro Road residents who reported hearing gunfire, Lt. Scott Nix said.

Responding officers determined the gunfire was coming from a parcel of property off nearby Codman Drive.

The continued investigation revealed a homeowner on Codman Drive was doing some target shooting.

Nix said the target shooting was deemed legal.

In other police news from Tuesday:

  • A Boston Post Road resident reported hearing glass breaking from the first floor of the residence. Responding officers found a glass instrument that had broken, but could not identify what the instrument was.
  • A car parked in the lot of a Boston Post Road business was found with a door open. Responding officer found nothing suspicious.
  • Officers were dispatched to Landham Road for a two-car accident. The Sudbury Fire Department was called to assist with minor injuries to the drivers. Both refused treatment. One car was towed from the scene.
  • A motorist driving on Nobscot Road was cited for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation. Officers had responded to the scene after receiving a report of a one-car accident and found the car in the woods. The car had to be towed.
  • A student's iPhone was reported stolen at Curtis Middle School. The case is under investigation.
  • Detectives are investigating a report of check fraud at Middlesex Savings Bank.
  • Officers were dispatched to Boston Post Road for a report of a suspicious male walking on Route 20 with a backpack. The male had crossed into Marlborough when officers arrived.
Jim Cavanaugh December 06, 2012 at 01:55 PM
This report is a joke. It was not a Codman Drive homeowner who was shooting hundreds of semi-automatic rounds. I personally called, emailed or knocked on the doors of all 10 homes on Codman Drive and none of us were shooting. The referenced "parcel of property" is owned by the family of Laura Abrams, owners of JP Bartlett (farms/greenhouses) in Sudbury. There is no home on the property, so it wasn't a "homeowner" shooting. There have been multiple incidents of semi-automatic fire from that "parcel of property," includiing several months ago when police found that it was Ms. Abrams son and an off-duty Ashland police officer who were emptying hundreds of rounds from a semi-automatic weapon. There are more than 2 dozen children who live within a few hundred yards of where the shooting is taking place. While police claim this is legal, it demonstrates extremely poor judgement and dangerous behavior by those who own the property and those who are doing the shooting. It's time to put a stop to this reckless behavior and blatant disturbing of the peace.
Joanne Lynch December 06, 2012 at 03:01 PM
That's disturbing. I wonder if another approach to stop this would be to call the MA DEP and determine if there are soil or groundwater impacts from that property that could migrate to your property. You would then be able to file a Downgradient Property Status and perhaps, change the property owner's behavior because of the implied financial responsibility to clean up the environmental impact from the shells.... just a thought. I wouldn't be too jazzed about my neighbors shooting off rounds near our house. Good luck! (Dare I even ask whether our BOS could address this issue in a by-law?)
M December 06, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Wouldn't the property need to be a licensed/designated area for gun discharge?
Laura December 06, 2012 at 06:11 PM
J. P. Bartlett Co., Inc. ("Bartlett's") and the Bartlett family have been commercial farmers in Sudbury since 1911. Bartlett's leases the field on the south side of Codman from the landowner and uses that field to operate a CSA farm growing produce which it sells locally at the Family Garden & Market at 593 Boston Post Rd. and to local restaurants who recognize the value that locally grown produce brings to their business. Although Bartlett's is in no way involved in the recent complaints about gun shots in the area of its farm, Bartlett's has confirmed with the Sudbury Police Dept. (SPD) that SPD has not determined where the shots came from or who fired the shots. We find it unfortunate that The Patch did not correctly report what SPD said. While we find no fault with boggers stating their "opinions" about the law relating to firearms, it is regrettable that they have attacked our farm using inaccurate statements recklessly. Laura B. Abrams, President J P Bartlett Co., Inc.
Jim Cavanaugh December 06, 2012 at 07:01 PM
The parcel of land that "Bartlett's leases...from the landowner" (according to Laura Bartlett Abrams above) is owned by the Laura Abrams Trust, according to the Town of Sudbury's website, where it is identified as "Parcel ID G09-0300." While it may be true that Barlett's is in no way involved in the recent (Tuesday) complaints about gun shots, it is also true that there have been a number of other occasions where the family members were involved in gunshots, and there have been many calls and complaints made to the Sudbury police, all of which are public records.
Codman Resident December 06, 2012 at 07:26 PM
It is unfortunate that this incident is being attributed to your family as it seems you have affirmed that you were not involved in the incident. However, it is not the first incident of its kind to occur on this parcel of land, for which your company is not just a lessee, but you are personally the owner. In some of those past incidents residents of Codman Drive and SPD were aware that a member of your family was involved in the discharge of firearms on that same piece of property. I am hopeful that your reply above represents your acknowledge that such activity is dangerous in a heavily populated area very close to a church and two elementary schools in this town. While we know that you cannot control tresspassers who may unlawfully use your land to discharge weapons, we'd appreciate your commitment that you and/or your family will not be involved in such activity in the future nor will you condone others in such activity.
LogicalReader December 06, 2012 at 07:41 PM
As idiotic as it may seem, it is legal to discharge a firearm if the shooter is more than 500 feet from the nearest house. Reckless? Yes. Safe? No. Bullets that stop after 500 feet? No. Nixon Elementary, St. Elizabeth's, the town center, all within range...
Robert D. Abrams December 06, 2012 at 10:06 PM
The JRH Trust is the owner of a parcel of land south of Codman Dr. and north of the Sudbury Town Cemetery. The Trust from time to time allows a small group of responsible and properly licensed gun owners to use the property for target practice and for hunting both of which are lawful permitted uses of the property. Although not required to do so, as a matter of courtesy, those people using the property for target practice with permission from the Trust call the Sudbury Police Department to inform them in advance of that use so that the Department will be aware of that use should it receive reports of gunshots. The statement that there have been multiple incidents of semi-automatic fire from that “parcel of property” is accurate. To say that “police found” who those people were is a distortion of the fact that those people had, consistent with the Trust’s policy, informed the police of their identity and their intention in advance of shooting. The Trust has determined that none of the people authorized to shoot on the property did so on Tuesday December 4th. The Trust has confirmed with the Sudbury Police Department that the Department has not determined where the gunshots heard on the 4th came from or who fired them. To be continued...
Robert D. Abrams December 06, 2012 at 10:08 PM
...continued Many target ranges need to construct an artificial earthen berm behind the targets to prevent stray bullets from endangering neighboring properties. This property has the benefit of a natural hillside and the shooting allowed on the property is arranged into that hillside in a manner that insures that stray bullets are safely contained. The Trust exercises its Second Amendment Rights responsibly. If you choose to exercise your First Amendment Right to express an opinion against the lawful use of firearms please do not misstate or distort the facts. Robert D. Abrams Attorney for JRH Trust
sudburycitizentoo December 06, 2012 at 10:19 PM
How embarrassing for Patch!!! LOL
Robert Fucci (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Not really.
Spirit of 01776 December 06, 2012 at 11:52 PM
This situation really makes me realize what a great asset the farm and this real estate trust are to our town. They not only beautify the town by providing palatial lodgings to their employees but exercise their gun rights in a responsible way and listen to the concerns of their neighbors in a humane way. I will be in line tomorrow when the shop opens to purchase many items and join the CSA. Thanks for providing the address!
Jim Cavanaugh December 08, 2012 at 12:29 AM
The Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms. It says NOTHING about discharging semi-automatic weapons within several hundred yards of 2 elementary schools, 3 churches and dozens of children (I looked it up). It's baffling that local business owners would exercise such blatantly poor judgement, all behind the cloak of what's legal, without concern for their neighbors, community members, (former) customers, and the children who live and go to school so close by. Abraham Lincoln said, "You must remember that some things legally right are not morally right." This is a textbook example of that.
sudburycitizentoo December 09, 2012 at 01:01 AM
I'm with you brother!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ December 09, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I'm just glad the guy who was shooting his gun didn't get in trouble for it.
RDL December 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Given that this has not been the first incident (many over last few yrs), where SEVERAL neighboring residents have expressed their concern (or I should say outright fear) about their safety, it seems justified in saying that the landowner does not have any regard for their fellow neighbors – which is disturbing, to say the least. There is an element of poor practical judgment being exercised by the landowner to continue to allow the use of semi-automatic weapons w/in approx 175yds from several neighboring homes, 150yds from their respective property lines (where several kids play) as well as w/in just 50yds of several “walking trails” on the west side of the train tracks (town land) where many kids/adults walk on a regular basis. Just think for a second, what if something were to go wrong? We live in a small town – we should all just try to get along and make our best efforts to exercise good judgment and respect our neighbors. We all have that responsibility, that’s all…it seems pretty simple to me.
Lisa M December 09, 2012 at 11:39 PM
The complete disregard that Laura Bartlett Abrams has for the Sudbury residents who are concerned about this is amazing.  No one is questioning the right to bear arms. Everyone is questioning Ms. Abrams lack of consideration for her neighbors of Sudbury who are very concerned and upset as you can see by this blog.  I can not believe that she condones shooting on her property near children, schools, town center, etc.   I have heard the gun fire and it is unsettling. Children are playing within close proximity to semi-automatic gun fire and bottom line that is not acceptable.
Jim Cavanaugh December 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM
As we all struggle to find the best way to talk with our children about their fears of hearing gunfire in their own schools, churches and neighborhoods, remember that just last week kids at Noyes and Nixon Elementary schools could hear the firing of several hundred rounds of semi-automatic weapons. This has happened on Laura Bartlett Abrams' property too many times and it's time to put an end to it. It's too close to the kids. If shooting weapons like this is really such a great, responsible, legal thing to, then why doesn't she do it during business hours at her Bartlett Farms business on Rte. 20?
In the Name of the Children May 06, 2013 at 07:01 PM
This is an unfortunate example of NIMBY politicking by rich suburbanites. Admit it Jim, you and your neighbors just want to protect your million dollar property values; this is not about "protecting the children". You and a few neighbors are scared about people shooting irresponsibly near your house? Well, it's not happening (as explained above). Problem solved. Judging by your post times, tone, and your house history on Zillow, I'm guessing you're a work-at-home consultant who bought into a gaudy McMansion at the peak of the real estate boom to get your kid into Sudbury's high school. Unfortunately, you didn't do enough research. Your house is wedged between a set of railroad tracks and two of the busiest roads in Sudbury. I used to party on those tracks as a kid...many kids probably still do. You have a busy park across from your house and a church in your backyard. People probably park in front of your house for their beer-laden summer softball games. It probably upsets you... Oops! You and your neighbors don't like to hear loud noises. Fine. You're ignorant about guns. Okay. The real problem is you are also too arrogant and fearful to have a real, diplomatic conversation with the owners directly about the noise of their lawful use of land. Have you ever even met them?! Instead of being a direct adult, you're choosing to whip up fear of a tragedy, in a slimey, nouveau-riche approach to manipulating a town's bylaws. Really lame Jim.
R. Dubey May 06, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Jim you are an anti gun scumbag. plain and simple and what makes you a scumbag is you are jumping on the same "its for the children" crap. YOU DON'T LIKE GUNS, admit it you dolt. You don't like 'em, period. So you complain every time you hear someone shooting and cry "It's for the kids". Man, you are so full of it, it's unbelievable that anyone listens to your drivel. And you throw about "semiautomatic" like the fear mongering wingnut you are. Do you know what that even means without going to the Brady center or wikipedia? You are a dude that makes too much money doing not enough work and it harshes your mellow to hear guns being fired because you weren't brought up around them.. So what do you do? You do what all libtards do, when you don't like something you try to take that right away from everybody else.
Tele Gram May 06, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Nicely written.
R. Dubey May 07, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Jen I don't need a thesaurus to talk down to you, it's really quite easy when your opponent is a fool. It doesn't matter where you're from, you don't like guns either, I can tell this from your statement (Gotta love 6:00am gunfire). You live in a rural place, in upperstate New York, what the hell did you think you'd hear? Common sense laws? You don't know what that is, as you have no idea of the far reaching implications of the "common sense" laws you don't understand.
In the Name of the Children May 07, 2013 at 06:08 AM
Sadly, you're not Princess of Sudbury, so who cares what you deem "acceptable" or "appropriate"? If you want change, start with yourself...watch your kids. Tell them to avoid that property because they shoot guns and guns scare you. Go talk to Mr & Ms Abrams face to face...drop your pretentious BS and alarmist litigiousness. Remember they've been there forever and only recently was your pod of McMansions crammed near their land. Invite them for a walk on their shooting range or for a coffee at their office or your house. Then, to their face, ask if they could please stop shooting because you and the 5 other McMansions' residents are scared of "semi-automatic gun fire". Be prepared for rejection; attempt to negotiate predictable shooting times so you feel more "in control". Your last resort will be to learn about guns. Your firearms ignorance may be endearing to, say, a humanities professor at Smith, but right now it's preventing you from having a reasoned dialogue. Your opinions about guns seem media-driven and hysterical - this ignorance is unnecessary. Maybe skip a couple Bikram yoga classes and take a basic firearms safety course. Go to a shooting range - if you're too shy to go with a friend then go alone. A range officer would walk you through basic gun handling and safe use. If you do ANY one of these things, you'll feel better. Plus, your kids will learn how to become more civil, humble and proactive. Please evolve, for the sake of your children.
Tele Gram May 11, 2013 at 01:54 PM
They should run for Selectman!
Tele Gram May 11, 2013 at 01:56 PM
My children have no "fear" of sounds. They have been to the range, and it is just a sound. Some might even call it the sound of liberty. It is refreshing and soothing.

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