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Teen shooting pellets eyed in U.S. 11 incident

August 05, 1998|By DON AINES

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police say a teenager with a pellet rifle was responsible for a shooting Monday afternoon that injured one motorist and damaged another's vehicle.

Trooper J.A. Laing said the unidentified boy fired a .177-caliber, pump-action air rifle from a second-floor window of his home along U.S. 11. He said the case will be referred to the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney's Office to determine if any charges will be filed against the youth.

He said the boy was not taken into custody.

The incident happened at about 6 p.m. when John Conner Jr., 38, of Falling Waters, parked outside the Harmony Methodist Church and walked next door to Convenient Motor Service to speak to the owner, Laing said.

Conner got back into his vehicle and was about to turn south on U.S. 11 when he was hit on the inside of his left forearm, police said. Laing said the pellet passed through the open passenger's-side window before hitting him.

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Conner was treated at Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Another pellet struck and shattered the passenger's-side window of a truck driven by Carol Welsh, 39, of Martinsburg, W.Va. She was driving south with Sandy Thompson, 29, and her son Trey Thompson, 4, when the truck was hit, police said.

All three were unhurt, police said.

"We believe his intention was more to destroy property than to harm anybody ... We don't believe the victim was a target," Laing said.

Although it was a pellet rifle, Laing said "a rifle of the sort that was used could even cause a lethal wound."

He said the boy was in an upstairs room with some friends when the shots were fired. Laing estimated Conner was about 50 feet away from the house when he was hit.

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