SUNBURY — A city police officer scaled a ladder to help a pregnant woman escape from a second floor window to get away from a gun-wielding woman who had already blasted a shot into the ceiling of a Race Street home.
The incident began just after 12:30 a.m., Sunday when Pamela Howard, 49, of 130 Race St., came home and went to a bedroom to ask her niece Amanda Cooney where a dog was.
The women then got into an argument that escalated until Howard went to get a gun and Cooney locked herself in the room, police said. Howard reportedly complained that Cooney spends too much time sleeping. Cooney replied that she sleeps a lot because she is 8-months pregnant. After locking herself in the room, Cooney called police.
Howard returned to the bedroom and began screaming at Cooney telling her “there would be consequences,” and “You better open the door,” according to court documents.
Police arrived and were told that Howard had fired a round from a .22 caliber rifle into the ceiling. Officers then began trying to call her by cell phone and tried talking to her with a loud speaker on a police cruiser. Since Howard would not respond to them, Sunbury Police Cpl. Bradley Hare requested the assistance of a Mount Carmel emergency Response Team. Police also asked the Sunbury Fire Company to bring a ladder to the scene so that Cooney could escape.
A 911 dispatcher told Cooney to climb out her window and onto a roof. Once she was on the roof Sunbury Police Patrolman Travis Bremigen went up the ladder to help her, Bremigen said.
“Everyone worked together and we are glad no one was seriously injured,” he said.
With Howard still in he house, Police Chief Stephen Mazzeo arrived at the Race St., home and was able to make contact with her via cell phone.
“We got her to speak and she decided to come out,” Mazzeo said Monday.
“It was a good effort by everyone involved.”
Once Howard was out of the house and taken in to custody, police made their way inside and found blood on a step leading to the second floor and a hole in a bedroom door with piece of the ceiling laying on the floor. Officers also found one .22 cal casing, a Ruger .22 long rifle, five loaded rounds in a magazine in the rifle and two other .22 cal rounds laying on a dresser, police said.
Police say the blood was from an injury to Howard’s foot because the shot that was fired ricocheted off the roof and in to her foot.
Howard was treated at the Sunbury Community Hospital before being video arraigned before District Judge Hugh Jones , of Mt. Carmel and was sent to Northumberland County Prison on $50,000 cash bail.
Howard is charged with discharging a firearm in a occupied structure, recklessly endangering another person and terroristic threats, police said.
Cooney declined comment on Monday.
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