On the afternoon of June 20th, 2017, Jackson Hole Shooting Experience coach Dr. Josh Steketee was having a great time shooting with our guests at the Jackson Hole Gun Club, our very favorite place to teach! As a guest lined up on the 600-yard target with the .308 rifle, they heard a “crack” elsewhere … where there should not have been a “crack.” Who knows if it was a backhoe bucket snapping something or a grenade?
As it turns out a box of old hand grenades had been discovered by construction crews working on the highway in front of the range, and it seems one exploded! It is not yet known if these were fragmentation grenades, flash-bangs, smoke or gas. Fortunately, no injuries resulted.
Jackson Hole Shooting Experience CEO Lynn Sherwood arrived soon after, as did explosives specialists from the Teton County Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson Police Department. They were in communications with military bomb professionals evaluating the best way to dispose of the grenades. Later that night, the grenades were destroyed in a controlled explosion.
Jackson Hole Gun Club board members were notified and immediately went to the shooting range to offer assistance.
It is not yet known from whence these grenades came. This range has been used for over 100 years.
Shepard Humphries, a former Sniper team Leader with the Jackson Hole Regional SWAT Team said, “It is unlikely that the grenades were left by law enforcement, however most people, even pros, are human and there is a possibility of human error.” He suggested that “time will tell.”
A grenade is a small bomb typically thrown by hand. A variety of hand grenades exist, the most common being explosive grenades designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time. There are also smoke and gas grenades and the most popular type used by paramilitary police organizations, the Flash Bang. It is designed to distract the attacker’s enemy, rendering them blinded and deaf for a moment. There is nothing to suggest that these grenades were purposefully planted or that there was any terrorism involved. Frankly, that is ridiculous.