- New Mexico decides to use HealthCare.gov for 2015
- Satanists to use Hobby Lobby rule to skirt state abortion laws
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- HHS: ‘Donut hole’ reforms saved Medicare enrollees $11.5 billion since 2010
- Boston-area tornado rips 100 homes: ‘Are we in Kansas?’
- Rush Limbaugh: ‘There is no journalism anymore’
- Scott Brown struggles for political traction in New Hampshire Senate race
- California’s Jerry Brown cites God, ‘religious call’ to embrace illegals
- Hamid Karzai’s cousin killed by suicide bomber at Eid al-Fitr party
- Obama thanks Muslims for ‘building the very fabric of our nation’
Va. mom charged after firing gun into air to scare off daughter’s attackers
Question of the Day
A Woodbridge woman was arrested after she shot a handgun into the air to scare off a group of boys who were attacking her daughter.
Lakisha Gaither, 35, said she fired a single round into the sky from her legally owned gun Saturday night after a boy punched her daughter in the face during a dispute near their home.
“I just wanted this group of guys to disperse,” Ms. Gaither said. “I didn’t know what they were going to do. I wanted him to stop hitting my child.”
The shooting occurred at 9:20 p.m. in the 13600 block of Cridercrest Place. After confronting a teenage girl and her mother in the neighborhood over a prior disagreement, Ms. Gaither and her 15-year-old daughter, Brianna Stewart, began walking home. A group of about 10 boys approached them in the parking lot of their apartment complex. One boy began to swear and insult Ms. Gaither and her daughter, who stood up to the boy.
“The two were face to face,” Ms. Gaither said. “He grabs her shirt, she goes to push him off her.”
Ms. Gaither said she realized she’d be putting the both of them at risk if she jumped into the fray.
“I stopped and turned to walk to the middle of the parking lot. I made sure no one was around me,” she said. “I unholstered my gun, pointed it straight in the air and fired just one shot to get him off my child.”
Ms. Gaither said she didn’t try to get away, and police eventually arrived.
“I didn’t feel like I was wrong,” she said. “I wanted to protect my child.”
But officers arrested her and charged her with reckless use of a weapon.
Prince William County police spokesman Officer Jonathan L. Perok said Ms. Gaither “should have called police instead of taking matters into her own hands.”
“You can’t fire into the air,” Officer Perok said. “Once something goes up, it comes down. There’s the possibility of causing property damage, injuring someone or killing someone. In an apartment complex, the odds of that bullet coming down and striking something are very high.”
No injuries or property damage were reported after the incident, but Officer Perok said police do not encourage confrontation and urge gun owners to use their weapons only in what they perceive to be life-threatening situations.
“The fact she stepped away from the crowd kind of shows she was not in an immediate danger type situation,” he said. “She may have been trying to break up the fight, but that’s not the proper course of action to take.”
Ms. Gaither said she didn’t immediately call police because she did not have her cellphone with her.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Obama nominates Rabbi David Saperstein as ambassador for religious freedom
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- No official word yet on Pope Francis visit: Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Higher Ground: War no deterrent
- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- EPSTEIN: All IRS roads lead to the archivist
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq