Listen Live

CALDWELL COUNTY, Mo. – A man is facing a list of charges, including attempted murder, after sheriff’s deputies in Missouri said he fired shots at an airplane.

>> Read more trending news

Caldwell County sheriff’s deputies said in a news release that they had arrested Donald V. Bates Jr. after serving a search warrant at his home. Bates is charged with attempted second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and assault.

Bates is accused of firing a high-powered rifle at a crop duster airplane on July 10, according to court paperwork obtained by The Kansas City Star. Investigators interviewed the plane’s pilot, who had been hired to spray crops on a nearby property. The pilot said that as he was leaving the field, he heard a loud pop and thought he had hit something mid-air, The Kansas City Star reported.

When the pilot inspected his plane after landing, he found fuel leaking from a bullet hole that had hit the fuel tank under the right wing, KSHB reported. The pilot found a second bullet hole in the nose of the plane.

The total damage to the plane was estimated to be $12,000, with the pilot losing an additional $25,000 in wages because the plane cannot fly, WDAF reported.

Witnesses told the police they heard what sounded like gunshots from Bates’ property, with one witness saying they heard as many as 15 shots fired, The Kansas City Star reported.

Bates was also charged in a separate incident where he is accused of using a gun to threaten another pilot in a crop duster on May 14, KSHB reported. Bates told investigators in that case that the plane woke him up, and he felt the plane was flying too low to his house and power lines. In that case, Bates said he never aimed at the pilot or had his finger on the trigger, WDAF reported.

Investigators who served the search warrant at Bates’ home said they found several long guns, as well as ammunition that was capable of penetrating an aircraft, The Kansas City Star reported.

Sheriff’s deputies said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also looking into the incident, and federal charges may be filed.