CHARLES TOWN – Two 18-year-olds have been charged with attempted murder stemming from an apparent quarrel that ended in a daylight shooting Monday during which multiple gunshots were fired on a neighborhood street in Charles Town.
No injuries occurred during the street attack where police say a .45 caliber handgun was fired at least 13 times at a car driving on West Liberty Street.
Charging documents state that the shooting occurred around noon near Evitts Run Park, where a gunman shot at a woman driving a white Toyota four-door car on West Liberty. The gunman fired east down West Liberty Street from the corner with Mt. Parvo Street.
Two bullets struck the car, Charles Town police reported in charging documents. One bullet hit the car’s roof directly above the head of the driver. A second bullet flattened the car’s front passenger-side tire.
Another bullet pierced two walls of a house near the park and landed on an upstairs bathroom floor.
Yeser Paula and his girlfriend, Cierra Nicole Kelley, who live in the same apartment in the 400 block of West Liberty Street, have been charged for their alleged involvement in the shooting.
Paula and Kelley are being held without bail at the Eastern Regional Jail while awaiting court proceedings in Jefferson County Magistrate Court.
The shooting arose from an argument on Sunday “over an accident that almost took place,” police reported. Police did not offer any more details about the dispute.
Charles Town Police say that on Monday, witnesses saw three males and a female running with the gunman from the shooting. After the shooting, the group ran toward West Washington Street from West Liberty and Mt. Parvo streets.
The gunman’s target, a woman driving with her mother, said she saw the shooter pull out a handgun and start firing at her, police reported.
Witnesses described the gunman, later identified as Paula, according to police. Witnesses also placed Kelley with Paula and the three other males at the site of the shooting.
Another witness reportedly saw Paula running from the shooting scene with a black handgun, according to police. The witness also saw him tuck the weapon in his waistband.
As of Monday evening, police had not recovered the handgun.
Other witnesses described the gunman as a black male with dreadlock-style hair wearing a white shirt and black shorts. A city police officer reported that he had spoken to Paula at Evitts Run Park about an hour before the shooting, and that Paula fit the witness’s description of the gunman.
Kelley was with Paula when the officer talked to Paula at the park, according to police.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the incident, Paula, after requesting advice from an attorney, allegedly stated that Kelley and others were not with him during the shooting. According to charging documents, police also later overheard Paula telling Kelley and another man at the Charles Town police station that “I did it and I’ll take the charge.”
Charging documents state that Kelley said that she was with Paula during the shooting, but she denied having any direct involvement in the attack.
The shooting unfolded, Kelley allegedly said, after she noticed the woman targeted in the car had parked her car near Kelley’s apartment. Kelley allegedly said she then told Paula and another man inside her apartment that the woman was parked outside.
“She stated she thought they were just going to fight, then the shooting started,” police reported.
After the shooting, Paula was arrested walking with another man on Samuel Street in downtown Charles Town. Kelley was arrested in her apartment.
In addition to Paula and Kelley each facing a single attempted murder charge, each face 13 felony counts of wanton endangerment.
A conviction for attempted murder carries a prison sentence of three to 15 years. A conviction for wanton endangerment comes with a penalty of up five years in jail or prison.