Woman: Shots fired were in self-defense
HUNTINGTON -- A woman who has been charged with wanton endangerment says she was defending herself against another shooter when she fired a shot Sunday on Monroe Avenue.
Angel Marie Lucas, 33, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of the felony charge in connection with a shooting that occurred just before 4 p.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of Monroe Avenue.
Lucas said her 24-year-old boyfriend was injured in the shooting, having been struck in the head by a bullet.
Police say Anthony Joseph Gaston, 22, of Detroit, was the one who fired the shot that injured Raymond Eugene Thomas Jr., also of Detroit. Gaston was arrested and charged with attempted murder on Sunday. Thomas is in critical condition at a local hospital.
Lucas said the incident stems from Gaston allegedly breaking into her house last year and stealing money from her. She said Thomas confronted him the day before the shooting.
Then on Sunday, when they saw Gaston with some other men at a convenience store, Lucas said her boyfriend told her to follow them. She said Gaston saw them and "then [they] were on a high-speed chase."
Police said earlier this week that witnesses told them they saw several vehicles speeding through the neighborhood. The vehicles then stopped in an empty lot along Monroe Avenue.
According to police, Gaston allegedly got into an altercation with two occupants of a black Chevrolet Malibu, who Lucas identified as her and her boyfriend. Gaston is charged with firing a rifle into the vehicle, striking Thomas. Lucas, the driver, allegedly fired her handgun once at Gaston.
Lucas' account of the incident came after her arraignment on Wednesday. She said the vehicles had stopped around West 9th Street, and she and Thomas got out of the car to talk to Gaston when Gaston allegedly took his gun out.
"We all grew up together," Lucas said. "I just wanted to talk -- you got some money, I need some, can I get it? You know what you did."
She said "there was a lot of commotion" then she and her boyfriend got into her car to leave.
"As I'm backing up to my car, I was asking [Gaston] just don't pull your gun out because I'm getting in my car and I'm leaving," she said. "I get in my car to leave and my man is on the passenger's side. He didn't say anything to nobody. He got in when I got in. When we got in, he said 'Oh shit, baby' and he went toward me and that's when the glass shattered.
"When I looked, I just saw a hole in his head and all the blood so I ran out the car because I didn't know how many shots were about to be fired... I ran toward [Gaston] because he was running toward the side of the house so I shot because he was right there. I didn't know if he was going to come back around ... and shoot again. I didn't know nothing. All I know is he shot at me and my boyfriend was critical."
Gaston fled the scene and police later arrested him as he attempted to hide at a local basketball court, according to police. Lucas said she stayed by her boyfriend's side, thinking he was dead.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court, Lucas is being charged with wanton endangerment for allegedly firing a shot in the direction of two people who were on a porch. No one was injured because of the gunfire, but the bullet hit the house just feet from the two people, the complaint states. Her bond has been set at $100,000 cash only.
Follow reporter Kristi Murphy on Twitter, @Kristi_Murphy.
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