Target practice: No charges in shooting of Glenmore woman

news-glenmoreThe gunfire in Glenmore that hit a woman has been deemed accidental.

Albemarle police say they've identified the source of the bullet that randomly struck a Glenmore woman in her backyard, and point to unnamed target shooters more than half a mile away. It's a painful reminder of how far bullets can travel.

"You should always have a backstop," says Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding, who recently taught a hunter safety class. "It doesn't help the cause of hunters to have someone shooting irresponsibly."

The shooting occurred around 8pm Sunday, August 29, when 61-year-old Justine Joscelyne was watering nandinas at her Darby Road residence in the gated Glenmore subdivision. Pierced in her right breast and suffering both an entrance and exit wound, she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released later that evening.

Albemarle police spokesman Lieutenant Shawn Schwertfeger says the alleged shooter was part of a group of four sharing a shotgun and a rifle at a makeshift firing range in the yard of a residence in the 3700 block of Richmond Road. And although no slug was recovered, Schwertfeger says he believes the stray projectile came from the rifle.

Virginia has laws that prohibit shooting across roads or at houses, with increased penalties when a shooting occurs with malice. State code also makes it a class 1 misdemeanor to recklessly discharge firearms to "endanger the life, limb or property of any person."

Police portray the members of the shooting party as cooperative and say that after consulting with the Commonwealth Attorney's office, they decided against filing any charges.

Albemarle police have declined to identify the gunmen or the owner of the Richmond Road property, and rejected a Freedom of Information Act request from the Hook, claiming that the identity of the shooter is exempt under FOIA.

Trevor Joscelyne, husband of the victim and president of the Glenmore Community Association, estimates that the Richmond Road residence lies about 1,000 yards from the Joscelynes' backyard, and says he's "certain" the house is a rental owned by Glenmore Associates, the company that developed Glenmore and which has had to pay back missing homeowner association funds embezzled by Glenmore Associates partner Mike Comer. "I think it's coincidence," says Joscelyne of that connection.

"They didn't break any laws," he says of the shooters, "and it was an accident."

When the Hook spoke to his wife on August 30, the day after the incident, she said she felt "surprisingly fine."

Another outcome heartening to Trevor Joscelyne, he says, is that police are urging the county to consider tightening shooting rules in the growth areas, as will the Glenmore Community Association. Currently, Albemarle makes it illegal to discharge a firearm in an area zoned residential, but the Richmond Road residence falls under neighborhood model zoning, which is exempt from the county ordinance. "We're going to be pressing the county to extend the ordinance to cover neighborhood model zoning," says Joscelyne.

After the notorious 2006 intentional shooting of a pet cat named "Carmen" by an angry neighbor in the Bentivar subdivision, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors considered a ban on discharging firearms within 200 yards of any house. But after hearing concerns that such action could harm Albemarle’s rural character and vex law-abiding hunters, the Board took no action.

Updated 11:30am September 7 to note Albemarle police's denial of the Hook's Freedom of Information Act request for the identity of the gunmen.

Updated 1pm September 3 with additional code on reckless handling of firearms and the possible connection with Glenmore Associates.

Read more on: glenmoreshooting


Yes. Well.Not everyone in the "rural" suburban neighborhoods will be so easy going about getting shot or even nearly shot. Way past time to change the rules.

I think that if he did not use a proper backstop he should be charged for his negligence. I am a gun owner and a supporter of gun rights, but with the use of something as powerful as a gun comes responsibilities. It only takes a few to ruin everything for the masses.

Considering the Albemarle County cop shoppe investigated this incident, does the sheriff even have all the facts? Has the commonwealth attorney discussed this case or his findings with the sheriff? On what facts did the sheriff base his claim that the shooters were acting irresponsibly?

The new Strom arrest story is here and I also saw it in the Daily Progress.

Gee Beav don'tcha think you oughta go tell the lady you're sorry you shot her in the breast?

Yeah...I guess you're right Wally. Gee seems like a fella can't even have a decent Balkan wedding celebration around here anymore.

@ Bag Assage:

Perhaps you should move to the People's Republic of Maryland where the Second Amendment isn't recognized as far as handguns are concerned. Better yet, move to New York (New York City even better). In any of those places the vast majority of gun owners are criminals. Meaning real criminals, not the Plaxico Burress kind. I read about some arson events and vehicle accidents this morning. Perhaps we should outlaw matches and cars. Fall from a ladder? Outlaw ladders as well.

OK Mr/Mrs/Miss Noooo, I see the stalking arrest in the local newspaper this morning. Does this come as a surprise to anybody? They are going to keep on dreaming up charges against her until she dismantles her blog.

I still wonder about grown men walking around with badges and guns and claiming they are afraid of people.

But, getting back to the question you asked, how is this latest arrest news? What would the headline be, "Grown Man With a Badge & Gun Scared of a Little Girl"?

Get back to work and stop chatting with Thomas. (see first firefox tab in the image) The first rule when making screenshots is to hide all personal information, especially if it shows that you goof off at work.

Stalking? Are you telling us a grown man with a badge and gun fears a small female?

But anyhow, back to your tale.... who was the friend of The Hook? Who was the federal cop? Lay it on us, this sounds like good stuff!

There should have been a charge of reckless handling of a firearm brought. Having an adequate backstop and knowing what is behind your target are cardinal rules of gun safety.
These careless clowns are are just as much a danger to Second Amendment right as gun control groups.
Its like with those go shoot someone for a deer by firing at sounds or movements and not identifying their target before they shoot. Too bad we don't have some dangerous game like in Africa that would come and take these bozos out when they wounded it by firing blindly into the brush.

When my neighbor was shooting long rifle from her deck at targets she'd set up in her yard - 60 feet from my laundry room and 15 feet from where my child's toys roll into the back of my fenced yard, I couldn't BELIEVE that it turns out she was doing nothing illegal because we are zoned rural.

Where is Baldi?

Looks like the shooters are future candidates for the Darwin Awards. I wonder how many people they will shoot before they get around to themselves? Too bad the Commonwealth Attorney’s office can’t spell ââ?¬Å?Reckless Endangerment”. what's stopping them from setting up their "makeshift" shooting range again? In exactly the same spot with similar or worse results?

3700 block of Richmond Road?


Isn't that ironic?

Friendly fire, eh?

I am glad to see it all got worked out. Accidents do happen, that is why they are called accidents. As you may recall, it wasn't that long ago an Albemarle County cop shop firearms instructor shot and wounded himself in the leg out at the Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club.

Car accident? Driver at fault is held accountable -- damages, fines, points, loss of license and even jail time, etc. depending on severity and track record. Injured parties are compensated.

Gun accident? Nothing.

Hey, realist -- do YOU sees what's wrong with that?

Both cars and guns are deadly weapons. A stray bullet should be treated the same as a car that "strays" into a person or property. The person on the business end of the gun and the car did not exercise the reasonable level of care to operate the gun/car without endangering others.

So why should the target shooter be treated differently?

Before we get off subject onto stalking, please let me get this straight. Someone shot this woman in her subdivision. The authorities know who did it. The sheriff said the shooter was acting irresponsibly. Somehow though, the individual was NOT charged? Seriously? What am I missing here?

People are cool with this?

Those of you thinking "influence" was behind this should consider that they likely have no way to determine exactly who fired the shot. Now, if they had been shown to have broken a firearms law or if the victim had died I think there are useable felony charges that could be applied to the whole group, without having to prove exactly who fired the shot, but an accident caused by legal actions resulting in non-life-threatening injury with no single clear responsible party is probably a waste of money for the criminal justice system to pursue.

On the other hand, it is exactly what civil courts are for, and the homeowner does not need to have fired the shot, or even be present, to liable for damages. A civil court can apportion responsibility between all the shooting party ( 10% your fault, 10% his fault, 25% owner's fault, etc.) If I were the victim, that's the route I'd look at.

Where are the real news stories? I just heard Elisha Strom blogger and friend of the HOOK, was arrested a couple of days ago for stalking a Federal agent. Where's the article on that?


I live in the city, and I always just shoot in the air. You know to celebrate the 4th and what not. The bullets that don't go into space orbit, just disentegrate on their way back down. Just like meteors. That's a fact, you can ask anyone.

Great to hear from you, Morris Shifflett, on this matter. I have to wonder, though, why hasn't your cousin from Louisa, Jones Davis Clatterbuck, weighed in on the subject?

Hey Morris,
The world is flat, too.
You can ask anyone.

"police portray the members of the alleged shooting party as cooperative and say that after consulting with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office they decided against filing any charges"

The 'alleged shooting party' was wealthy, which is why no charges were filed. A party of poor folks would be in jail.

Thanks realist! You just made my point for me.

Accident? I know that anything having to do with firearms around here is darned near sacrosanct, but I have to wonder if this had happened with virtually any other dangerous device, say a bow and arrow, slingshot, or even a friggen thrown rock would there have been charges of some kind?

Are we so afraid of infringing on gun rights that they outweigh a person's expectation of safety in her own backyard?

I found a 9mm slug in my deck post one day. I live near a busy road. Some jackass was just shooting at my place as they passed on the highway and there is no way I would ever find out who.

Realist, why don't you address the issues that Bag Assage actually raised? Perhaps we should outlaw burning other people with matches, or running them over with our cars, or dropping ladders on their heads. Oh, wait, we do that already....

If she was standing in front of her house when she was hit, then didn't they shoot at a house?

Stalking is one of the most abused laws on the books in Virginia. In the last stalking trial I had the occasion to attend, also an alleged stalking of a man with a shiny badge and big gun, the judge had to hide his facial expressions with his arm and hands as he listened to some of the comedy the commonwealth offered. He also knew one of the commonwealth witnesses was lying when the witness wouldn't look him eye to eye when answering the questions the judge posed to him. The witness looked to and answered to the floor. It was quite the three ring circus! :)

I think there should have been some sort of charge filed in this case. The bullet shouldn't have hit the woman if proper procedures were being followed. It could just as easily have killed her. I'd like to shoot on my property but it's perfectly flat with no backstop. So I don't.

whew, glad to know she was watering her nandinas :P