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Shot fired into public defender's office in Winchester

By Joe Beck

Winchester police are searching for someone who fired a shot into the state public defender's office at 117 E. Piccadilly St. late last week.

Lauren Cummings, a police spokeswoman, said Wednesday the department fielded a call at about 10:30 a.m. Friday from the public defender's office reporting a shot fired through a window in the building. No one was injured, she said.

Cummings said she had no information on when the shot was fired. Police investigating the crime scene recovered a single bullet, she said. Cummings said police were not releasing information on what kind of gun was used.

The office remained open Wednesday, she said.

The shooter's motive is unknown, Cummings said.

The building also holds the district office of state Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Upperville. Tricia Stiles, Vogel's legislative assistant, said there was no sign that anyone was targeting her office, which is on the first floor of the building. The public defender's office is directly above on the third floor.

Stiles said police investigators had stopped by the office to talk to her about the incident, but the shooter and his motives remain a mystery.

"I don't think anyone knows," Stiles said. "It might not even have been targeted at the public defender office. It may simply have been someone taking a random shot."

Police are asking anyone with information on the crime to call the Winchester Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 545-4704 or Crime Solvers at 665-8477.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


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