Less than two weeks after shots were fired into a Cullman home in a separate case, city police were again called to a potential shooting — though the latest incident proved to be a false alarm.

At approximately 4:55 p.m., city police were dispatched to an Avenue C home after nearby witnesses reported what sounded like gunfire coming from a car driving past the home.

“We were at the park and heard a popping noise,” a witness at the scene told The Times. “Then, the car drove off really fast and went to the park.”

After further investigation, police determined approximately four area juveniles had fired an unloaded paintball gun at the home. Authorities found the suspects minutes later at East Side Park, along with the paintball gun used in the incident.

“We received a call of shots fired into a residence and responded,” Cullman Police Sgt. Jeff Warnke said. “It was apparently a paintball gun minus the projectiles, not an actual firearm. We were actually in the middle of a shift change when this happened, so we had an extremely fast response.”

Though the device was harmless, and no damage was done, Warnke said the paintball gun did produce a loud “popping” noise.

“It made a similar noise that witnesses heard and called in,” he said. “The home was unoccupied at the time, though juveniles apparently knew an occupant of the home and thought it would be funny.”

Since no laws were technically broken, the juveniles were released and no charges were filed — though The Times witnessed several officers at the scene talking to the youths.

“There were no charges filed, but they were sternly reprimanded for their actions,” Warnke said.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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