Hospital releases shooting victim; Seven charged in Feb. 28 incident

By on March 23, 2016

 

A 22-year-old shooting victim returned home from a lengthy hospital stay as authorities last week charged seven people in connection with her injuries.

Four men and three women face reckless endangerment charges relating to a Feb. 28 incident in which a stray bullet struck Jamie Horning, who was sitting in the kitchen of her East Cocalico Township home.

The seven charged were part of a group that discharged 10 different weapons while target shooting at a tree stump from a second-floor deck at 830 S. Ridge Road.

Police said charges were filed partially because the shooters failed to use a backstop while practice shooting.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman filed nine counts each of reckless endangerment against Vernon G. Kurtz, 28, Denver; Kyle Sholly, 23, Denver; Wesley Melhuish, 24, Lebanon; Andrew Richards, 24, Denver; Brianna Rottmund, 20, Newmanstown; Tawny Kissinger, 26, Denver; and Amy Dunn, 34, Denver.

Sholly and Richards live at the South Ridge Road home. It is not clear if people had previously fired weapons from that area.

A stray bullet traveled about 1,600 feet through a field and a line of trees before it entered the window of Horning’s home at 553 Reinholds Road.

A spokesman from the DA’s office said the victim continues to deal with impairment effects from the injury and is expected to “for quite some time.”

Horning’s father, Ken Auker, told LNP his daughter is improving a little each day.

“She should make a full recovery,” he said Thursday. “It is nothing short of a miracle.”

East Cocalico Township Police said Horning had previously been transferred from Hershey Medical Center to a hospital in Philadelphia.

Authorities said the group, which had fired seven handguns and three rifles, admitted to shooting over several hours. No other safety precautions were taken to ensure a safe shooting exercise.

East Cocalico Detective Keith Neff filed the misdemeanor charges, approved by Assistant District Attorney Christopher Lechner.

The seven charged were mailed summons to appear for a preliminary arraignment before District Judge Nancy G. Hamill on April 14.

Brett Hambright, spokesman for the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, stressed that the charged individuals are presumed innocent and the investigation continues.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 717-721-4455

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