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W.Va. woman charged with firing a shotgun in building

December 30, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A Martinsburg woman who allegedly fired several gunshots inside her apartment - including as a police officer approached, forcing officers to shut down a city block - was charged Thursday.

Alice Geraldine Sajovic, 65, of 125 W. Burke St., Apt. 18, was charged with a misdemeanor count of discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a dwelling.

The incident happened on Dec. 15, when a woman who lives in the same apartment building called police to report someone was firing a gun, according to Magistrate Court records.

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The woman said the shots seemed to be in a hallway, police said.

When an officer with the Martinsburg Police Department went to the building and approached the doorway, "another shot was fired and it sounded very close," records state.

"We took cover in the alleyway and another shot was fired while we were contacting dispatch and continuing to take cover," Patrolman R.E. Butcher wrote in a criminal complaint.

With weapons drawn, officers surrounded the building and members of the police department's Special Response Team - similar to a SWAT team - were called to the scene.

The 100 block of West Burke Street was closed to traffic and pedestrians.

Police Chief Ted Anderson was able to speak to Sajovic on the phone and told her to open her apartment door to officers who were outside, records state.

After letting the officers inside, Sajovic said she fired the gun because someone kept knocking on her door, police said.

Inside the apartment, police said they found a shotgun and three spent shell casings. The front door had two gunshot holes in it, with the shots going through the door and stopping in a door across the hallway. A third shot was fired into a closet door knob in Sajovic's bedroom, police said.

Officers seized the shotgun.

Sajovic is free on $2,500 bond.

Conviction on a charge of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling carries a sentence of 10 to 100 days in jail.

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