A woman visiting her mom's house Monday afternoon was frightened by what police believe was an unintentional act - random shots fired within the city limits.
According to Lt. Doug McClammy, spokesman for the Stephenville Police Department, officers were dispatched to the 600 block of East Long Street after the window of a residence was busted out by an unknown object.
Sarah Cannady, owner of the Literary Lion in Stephenville, had stopped by her mother's home to let the dogs out when she heard a resounding noise, which sounded like gunfire. While her instincts told her to get to the ground, Cannady told herself that was "crazy."
"I told myself, it had to be something else," she said. "It was broad daylight on Long Street in Stephenville, Texas."
She said two shots "hit" inside the residence. One pierced through a window on the front side of the home and penetrated wooden blinds covering the window. The second followed a similar path.
As if two random shots being fired in her direction was not enough to incite fear, Cannady said the point of entry was "less than a foot" above her head. She said due to the level at which she was sitting, nobody could have seen her, and she is confident she wasn't an intended target.
After the shots rang out, Cannady said she "belly-crawled" to the telephone to make a call for help.
McClammy said officers at the scene reported someone most likely discharged a firearm believed to be a .22 caliber or air rifle. He also said the projectile was not found.
McClammy said the damage to the property showed the trajectory was at a downward angle, which likely means the firearm was pointed up in the air when it was discharged, and not at a specific target.
"We do not believe this was an intentional act," McClammy said.
Still, as a survivor of a previous accident, Cannaday is aware of the real damage that can be caused by the carelessness of others. She sustained severe brain injuries about seven years ago when a reckless driver who "didn't mean to hurt her" changed her life forever.
"Careless or intentional, people can still get hurt," Cannady said.
While nobody was injured in the incident, McClammy said the police department is issuing a reminder to all citizens.
The city's Code of Ordinances prohibits the discharge of air guns, which are defined as an air rifle or air pistol that is capable of discharging and propelling shots, pellets or any solid object for a distance of greater than 50 feet through the use of compressed air, compressed gas, springs or any other means. According to code, firearm is "any device designed, made or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use."
McClammy said the discharge of either is prohibited within Stephenville city limits. He said violation is a class C misdemeanor.
He also said the department can add to the offense if a deadly conduct charge is filed.
"If a person is reckless in their conduct and places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury itís a class A misdemeanor and if a person knowingly discharges a weapon in the direction of a habitation, building or vehicle, itís a third degree felony," McClammy said.
Class C misdemeanors are punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. A class A misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $4,000 and 90 days - one year in jail. A third-degree felony carries a prison sentence of up two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.