The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Man arrested after shot fired into city apartments
BY KEITH EPPS
A Fredericksburg man was arrested Saturday after firing a rifle shot that went into two neighbors’ apartments, police said.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at the River Woods apartments on Woodlyn Drive. City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said Officer Ben Johnson went there about 7 a.m. after receiving a call from a resident.
The resident, who lives on the ground floor, reported that he woke up Saturday and found a bullet hole in his living room floor. The man said he had heard what he thought were fireworks between 1 and 2 a.m., but didn’t call police until finding damage later in the morning.
The officer also found three smaller holes in the ceiling right above the floor, indicating that the bullet fragmented after coming through the floor. Johnson then went to the second-floor apartment right above the victim and found a hole in that living room carpet.
Police said it took a while for Johnson to get into the second victim’s home. Bledsoe said that victim told Johnson he has had bad experiences with police officers in the past and accused Johnson of lying about his reason for wanting to get into the home.
Bledsoe said the man kept arguing even after the bullet hole was pointed out to him. The officer was finally able to inspect the damage after “coming to a mutual understanding” with the resident.
Johnson then went to the basement apartment right below the first victim and contacted the suspect. Bledsoe said the suspect was cooperative and handed over the M-4 rifle that had been discharged.
The circumstances surrounding the firing of the gun are unclear, but the man told police that he and his sister-in-law were aware that it had fired. Bledsoe said neither bothered to check on their neighbors after the shot was fired. The suspect’s wife was also home at the time, but she was asleep.
Ernest Sanchez, 25, was charged with reckless handling of a firearm, discharging a gun within the city limits and shooting into an occupied dwelling. The latter charge is a felony.
Sanchez was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under a $2,000 bond.