EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSWoman Shot Through Apartment Wall Upset Shooter Hasn't Been Charged
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Oct. 23, 2013 6:20 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 23, 2013 8:49 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A Charleston woman shot through an apartment wall while doing laundry spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News and was upset the shooter is not facing criminal charges.
Debra Miller, 41, was shot in the shoulder and face Saturday evening as she was doing laundry in the basement of her Quarrier Street apartment.
Charleston Police determined John Tucker, a man staying in another apartment in the building, accidentally fired the shot while he was showing the gun to a friend.
"Why at that moment when I went to the basement did that have to happen?" she asked.
She was released from the hospital a day after the shooting, but is still bandaged up and healing.
"I literally thought a steel beam had fallen on me, it hurt like hell," Miller said.
Tucker fled the scene shortly after the shooting, but turned himself in several hours later, after police had announced to the media who they were looking for.
"They just absolutely done nothing to him, just threw it out like it's no big deal. He could have killed somebody," Miller said.
Charleston police said they investigated the case as a wanton endangerment but did not charge Tucker because the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office ruled the shooting an accident.
Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants said it's a case that comes down to intent.
"Typical wanton endangerment or a typical malicious wounding with a firearm, I have to prove that that person intentionally pointed a gun at a crowd or a person and intentionally pulled the trigger. That's an element I have to prove. The facts of this case are different," Plants said.
Similar circumstances unfolded in Nashville, Tenn. just last week, when David White was arrested on scene for reckless endangerment after accidentally firing a shot through a floor. The bullet struck a woman sleeping in her bed in a bottom apartment.
"If this was your mom, or if this was you, or if this was your kid that got shot, wouldn't you want someone held accountable?" asked Eyewitness News reporter Leslie Rubin.
"Absolutely, absolutely. We're going to move forward with the investigation and make a charging decision based on the evidence to the fullest extent of the law," Plants said.
Miller said she feels irrelevant at this point, and hopes justice is not too far away.
Plants said they will review the case. A possible charge against Tucker could be shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling, a misdemeanor, Plants said.
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