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Charges likely in 'dream' shooting

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From staff reports

Friday, January 4, 2019

CAMDEN — The Cam­den County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is ex­plor­ing pos­si­ble criminal charges against a man who claims he was sleep­ing when he fired a bul­let into an occupied apart­ment above his.

A male resident of a second-floor apartment at the River Bridge Apartments complex told Camden authorities he was asleep Dec. 17 when he apparently dreamed an intruder had entered his apartment. In the dream, the man fired a shot at the intruder, Camden Sheriff Kevin Jones said.

The man also apparently fired the weapon in reality, deputies learned when they responded to a shooting incident at River Bridge Apartments shortly before 1:15 a.m., Jones said.

Jones said the man told deputies he was awakened by the sound of the gun being fired and realized he had discharged his .40-caliber handgun in his sleep.

The bullet penetrated the ceiling of his apartment and entered an apartment on the third floor of the building, hitting the back of a nightstand and then moving along a bedroom wall, Jones said.

The woman who lived in the third-floor apartment was at home at the time but not in the bedroom, because she had fallen asleep on a sofa while watching television, the sheriff said.

Jones said officers are conferring with the District Attorney Office on possible charges in the case. Even though the shooting appears to be accidental charges likely will be filed because of the man’s alleged negligence in handling a firearm, Jones said.

“The probability of serious injury was absolutely there” had someone been in the bedroom of the upstairs apartment at that time, Jones said. “No one was injured — thank goodness.”

Jones noted there was property damage to both apartments.

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