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Woman charged with assault after dispute with neighbors turns violent

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A woman is in custody and a man is in the hospital after an argument between neighbors turned violent at the 2300 block of Boardwalk Avenue Saturday night.

Neighbors say they say they cannot believe that something like this happened in their cul-de-sac, but are relieved that the situation did not turn deadly.

John Freifeld was in his house when he heard strange noises outside his door.

"I heard some yelling, and it was like one or two people," he said. "And then it became three or four people, and then it sounded like they were having a riot out here in the cul-de-sac."

That’s when he decided to step outside, and see what the commotion was all about. But when he opened his door, he was met by the sounds of gunshots.

Police say 22-year-old Rebecca Harley Lawrence was in an argument with neighbors about a dog when she grabbed a 22-caliber rifle and shot at a crowd of neighbors that had formed to watch the argument.

"And the next thing I know I'm hearing a man yell, 'I've been shot! I've been shot,'" he added.

It was his 32-year-old neighbor who was shot in the abdomen. The victim was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where he is being treated for what officials say are not life-threatening injuries.

A neighbor we spoke with said the victim was shot through the liver and the bullet is lodged in his back. She says he is in stable condition but still in the ICU.

Lawrence has been charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of city ordinance.

She is being held at the New Hanover County Jail on a $300,000 bond.

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