"A bullet hole was discovered in the payload the drone was carrying."

Target Practice

A 72-year-old man in Florida has been arrested after shooting a Walmart delivery drone with a 9mm handgun.

As Business Insider reports, Dennis Winn was taken into custody by the local Lake County Sheriff's Office after receiving a complaint.

"A bullet hole was discovered in the payload the drone was carrying," reads a Facebook update by the police department. "Witnesses identified the defendant, Dennis Winn, and directed deputies to his residence, the incident location."

Winn, who reportedly believed he was being surveilled by the drone, is facing a number of charges including shooting at an aircraft, criminal mischief, and discharging a firearm on public or residential property, according to the sheriff's office.

The incident highlights the many obstacles companies like Walmart and Amazon are facing in deploying drones that can complete last-mile deliveries. Beyond technical limitations, regulatory hurdles, and extreme weather greatly impeding their rollout, local residents clearly aren't smitten with their noisy, airborne new neighbors.


According to an affidavit filed with the Lake County Sheriff, Winn already had convinced himself that the drones flying over his house were there to spy on him. He reportedly took a single shot at the drone with his handgun but failed to take it down.

The wounded drone somehow managed to make it all the way back to a nearby Walmart.

While it's far smaller than an actual commercial jet carrying human passengers, the Federal Aviation Administration's "don't shoot at aircraft" rules don't distinguish between it and a tiny delivery drone, as BI points out.

Meanwhile, Walmart is hoping to expand its delivery services to become the "largest drone delivery footprint of any US retailer," leaving the possibility of future residents taking potshots at its flying minions.

More on delivery drones: Amazon’s Drone Delivery Is a Dismal Failure That Can Only Carry a Single Can of Soup

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