Drive-by shooting suspect denies charges
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | March 14,2013
ERIC FRANCIS PHOTO
Orion Pfenning, 18, of Weathersfield pleaded innocent to reckless
endangerment and simple assault Monday for allegedly driving past and shooting a fellow Springfield High School student with an air pellet gun in February.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Weathersfield teenager who allegedly shot a fellow Springfield High School student in the arm with an air pellet gun in February has denied the charges against him. Orion Pfenning, 18, pleaded innocent this week in White River Junction criminal court to misdemeanor charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment for the Feb. 20 incident on Main Street near the movie theater in downtown Springfield.
He has been ordered not to possess any firearms or other dangerous weapons while his case is pending.
Ashley Morse, 18, told Springfield police that she and her sisters were crossing the street just before noon on their way to the library when Pfenning drove by in a black SUV. He cursed at her, then shot her in the arm with a pellet gun, police said.
Morse wrote in her statement she had known Pfenning since grade school. She added, “I have never done anything to my knowledge to upset him in any way. He is just a very ignorant person. I have no idea why he shot me.”
Springfield Police Cpl. Walter Morancy wrote in court records that Morse told him the pain from the pellet wound was “really bad.”
Morancy said Pfenning admitted to firing the shot, but denied being angry with Morse or having any reason to hurt her.
“Pfenning just shrugged his shoulders ... (and) asked, ‘What do you want me to say?’ Morancy said.
The officer stressed the potential for a blinding injury if the shot had hit any of the three sisters in the face.
“I also spoke to Pfenning about the possibility of causing public alarm (if someone had seen) a gun pointed out the window of vehicle in downtown Springfield, considering what has taken place here in the past year,” Morancy said. “Pfenning just looked confused ... until I reminded him of the alleged gang activity in Springfield.”
The corporal said Pfenning showed no remorse or concern whether he had injured Morse.
Pfenning faces up to two years in jail if convicted of both charges.