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Neighbor charged with shooting Fayette youth

| Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2001

A dispute among neighbors in McClellandtown, Fayette County turned violent Sunday night, leaving a 13-year-old boy hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Joshua Shields of Puritan Village Road was hospitalized in fair condition at Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh, a spokeswoman there said Monday.

The suspect, Melissa Katherine Collins, 32, of 339 Puritan Village Road, was charged by state police at Uniontown with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Collins was arraigned before District Justice Michael Defino of Republic and placed in the Fayette County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Trooper David L. Bell said Joshua was shot at 9 p.m. as he walked in front of a window at his home along Puritan Village Road. The bullet, fired from a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle, hit the boy in the left side of the chest but missed his vital organs, Bell said.

Collins does not own the rifle, said Bell, who investigated the shooting.

Collins, who lives within 200 yards of Joshua's residence, had been at the boy's house earlier Sunday and was asked to leave, Bell said.

Joshua was flown by medical helicopter from the McClellandtown fire hall to Children's Hospital, Bell said.

A preliminary hearing for Collins before District Justice Brenda Cavalcante of Masontown is scheduled for Jan. 22.

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