Two Cumberland County men were arrested last week after a resident reported shots were fired at her home.

Charged with reckless endangerment and felony vandalism were Brian Mitchell Eldridge, 27, 396 Vaughn Loop, and Franklin Dee Copeland, 40, 401 Wallop Lane. Copeland was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Eldridge was charged with possession of stolen property.

A resident on Hwy. 70 N. reported someone in a maroon truck had driven past the home and fired shots at about 6 p.m. on July 18. Deputy Dustin Hensley wrote in his report he observed a hole in the metal tin roof. Three people were in the residence at the time the shots were fired.

Deputy Hensley advised the Crossville Police Department the truck was traveling into town from Hwy. 70 North and Sgt. Jon Wirey spotted the vehicle in the area of Oak Grove St. about one minute after the alert was issued.

Wirey wrote he recognized the passenger as Copeland and observed he was wearing a shoulder holster and had a black powder in his lap that appeared to be gunpowder. When asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle, Copeland said yes and claimed ownership of a .44-caliber pistol.

"The pistol was dismantled at this time, but had fresh powder in the cylinder as well as the fresh odor of burnt power. There were also caps, a container of gunpowder and lead balls for the weapon in the truck," Wirey wrote.

Copeland and the driver, Eldridge, were taken into custody and a search of the truck found a Smith and Wesson .38 Special revolver in the driver's area. A check of the serial number revealed the gun was stolen from Davidson County in November 1975. Eldridge had a valid gun carry permit and claimed ownership of the weapon, saying he had purchased it about a year ago in Sparta, TN, at a gun show. However, he added he bought the gun from an individual and did not fill out any paperwork. He also claimed ownership of two other firearms in the truck.

Both subjects denied shooting from the vehicle, but were arrested on the stolen property and weapon possession charges and transported to the Cumberland County Justice Center. There, Hensley arrested the pair for the earlier incident of shooting at the occupied residence.


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