An Augusta man was arrested Sunday after police say he fired an illegal firearm within 50 yards of children while intoxicated.
James Ronald Sims, 61, of Peach Orchard Road, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, discharge of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and reckless conduct, according to Richmond County jail records.
About 11:50 a.m., Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Lanford was driving on Peach Orchard Road when he heard gunshots, according to an incident report. Residents pointed him to Peach Orchard and Rhodes roads, where he found Sims standing near the end of his trailer.
According to the report, Sims dropped something as Langford approached and had a claw hammer in his hand. After talking to Sims, Langford concluded he was intoxicated.
As Langford drew closer, he saw what appeared to be a sawed-off .410-caliber shotgun with an altered bolt and firing pin. The shotgun did not have a serial number and was fired by hitting the end of the bolt with a hammer.
Langford said he found three spent .410-caliber shells and a live shell where Sims had been standing.
According to the report, residents and their children were in their yards within 50 yards of where Sims was shooting the modified firearm.