CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – It’s a mystery that has bothered some people in Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and the Tri-Cities for months. What is causing those very loud booms that sometimes shake homes and rattle nerves?
Over the months, theories arose such as mini-earthquakes, ice booms, someone even suggested a garbage truck flap banging against the back of the truck.
Now it appears the boom mystery has been solved. Watch this video.
Minutes after this video was shot Saturday afternoon, social media lit up with reaction and questions.
“Anyone [know] what the big bombs are around Colonial Heights and Chesterfield County lines,” Hazel Halliday posted from Chester. “I heard [one] about an hour ago my house shook and my Windows rattled.”
CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil has been tracking the source of the boom for weeks. Last week the man who claimed to be behind the booms came forward and provided video.
Justin Watkins, 28, said he is the man in this most recent video taken Saturday about 4:15 p.m. He said the booms are the result of target practice.
Watkins said he is using a high-power rifle to shoot tannerite, an exploding target.
“We do it for fun and target practice not for attention that just comes along with it,” Watkins wrote in an online chat with CBS 6 about the booms. “We have caused many, many [booms] and yes, [there are] plenty more are to come.”
Watkins said he shoots the targets in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie. He said he is usually positioned 150 – 200 yards from the target during practice.
He said he sometimes shoots one or two pound targets. It’s the larger targets (the one in the video is 20 pounds) that cause the big booms.
“Yes people get upset, but they live a different lifestyle. We live to hunt and fish and we love our guns,” he said.
CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil is continuing to work this story and determine whether or not what’s causing the booms is legal. Click here to email the CBS 6 Newsroom if you’ve been impacted by the booms.