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Woman is charged with firing shotgun inside her apartment

December 16, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police closed down a section of West Burke Street and surrounded a large apartment building Thursday after an older woman inside fired several shots from a shotgun, according to officers with the Martinsburg Police Department.

The woman, Alice Sajovic, eventually agreed to turn herself in after speaking with police, including a phone conversation with Martinsburg Police Department Chief Ted Anderson. An arrest warrant charging her was issued Thursday night.

Nobody was injured.

Her gun, a .410 shotgun that looked to be an older gun, was placed into the back of a police cruiser. As the woman was escorted from the building, she stopped to check her mail. She exclaimed that she had received a Christmas card and also commented on being on "Candid Camera," referring to two people taking her photograph.

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Martinsburg Police Department Sgt. G.F. Macher said police were summoned to the apartment at 125 W. Burke St., Apt. 18, about 12:30 p.m.

Because the first officers who arrived could hear gunshots coming from within the apartment at the back of the building, they backed off, Macher said. With guns drawn, officers surrounded the building.

The 100 block of West Burke Street was shut down and police tried to prevent people from walking near the building.

A firetruck and ambulance from the Martinsburg Fire Department idled nearby. At one point, a police officer carrying a long gun with a scope on it could be seen running down College Street, near the building.

"There is evidence there were shots (fired) from her apartment outside into the hallway," Macher said.

Nobody was allowed to leave the building.

"We had people stuck in the apartments that wanted to come out," Macher said.

The standoff lasted about an hour, as snow fell.

After the woman turned herself in, the apartment building's owner was allowed to go inside the apartment, with a warning that gunshots had destroyed some walls. Officers joked with him that he had some drywall work to do.

Sajovic, whom police said is older than 60, was not wearing handcuffs as she was walked out of the building to be taken to the police department.

"We'll evaluate her mental condition," Macher said.

Police said in a written release later Thursday that after consulting with the Berkeley County Prosecutor's office, a warrant charging Sajovic with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling was issued.

Police said Sajovic will be arraigned on the charge after she is released from City Hospital.

Officers with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department assisted.

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