A woman accused of killing a man with a pellet gun reportedly used mailboxes outside her home as “target practice,” a city police detective testified.
Alison Hargis is charged with murder in the death of Phillip “Flip” Stewart, 31, who was found unresponsive Saturday morning in the parking lot outside the apartment in the 300 block of Cherry Way where Hargis, 32, had been staying.
Hargis was arrested Sunday by the Bowling Green Police Department and she appeared Wednesday in Warren District Court for a preliminary hearing.
At the hearing, BGPD Detective Ryan Dillon testified that Stewart had received five wounds from a pump-action pellet gun, and that the fatal wound entered the left side of Stewart’s chest, perforated a lung and struck an artery surrounding his heart, causing him to die from internal bleeding.
City police were called to Cherry Way around 10:25 a.m. Saturday to help first responders with an unresponsive man lying in the parking lot.
The man, identified as Stewart, was taken to The Medical Center, where doctors discovered he had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Officers canvassed the neighborhood, but found no one who heard gunshots in the area that morning, Dillon said.
Police located and spoke with Stewart’s girlfriend, Wendy Medina, who told police the couple had spent the previous night in an abandoned house and had gone to the apartments on Cherry Way to get something to eat, according to Dillon, who went on to say that the couple were homeless, but Stewart had friends who lived at the apartments.
Medina reportedly told police she had been in an argument earlier with Stewart and that he had thrown a ring at her head, creating a bruise, but that took place before they went to Cherry Way.
After meeting with someone at the apartment building, Medina and Stewart got into a verbal argument in the parking lot, with Medina telling police that Hargis emerged from an apartment with a pump-action BB gun and threatened to shoot Stewart if he put his hands on Medina, Dillon said.
The detective said Stewart responded by saying he was not putting his hands on his girlfriend and that she would “mop the floor” with Hargis if she shot him.
Medina said she went back into the neighbor’s apartment and after a few minutes a man drove by and yelled out that someone was lying unresponsive in the parking lot.
A neighbor called 911, and life-saving measures were attempted on Stewart.
City police investigating the death identified Hargis as a possible suspect through speaking with residents in the area.
Ronald Olson, who owned the apartment where Hargis was staying, told police that Hargis kept several high-powered BB pellet guns at the apartment.
Olson also told police it was common for Hargis to have the guns outside the apartment and shoot at mailboxes for “target practice.”
“Several other residents told us it was common for Ali Hargis to be impaired, walking around and shooting things with a BB gun out there,” Dillon said.
Police collected mailboxes outside the apartment that were riddled with small-caliber bullet holes.
“The mailboxes were ate up with BBs,” Dillon said.
While attempting to locate Hargis, police received several tips, learning eventually that someone saw her on a red scooter with James Ingram.
Police located Ingram and arrested him on an outstanding warrant.
During a police interview, Ingram told police that he was with Hargis on Saturday afternoon and that she admitted to him that she shot someone with a BB gun and was afraid he was dead, Dillon said.
“(Hargis) told Ingram she shot this man because she was defending this man’s girlfriend,” Dillon said. “Ingram told Ali if you were defending somebody you need to turn yourself in and give police a statement. He said she didn’t want to do that and he figured there was more to the story.”
Police received a tip Sunday that Hargis was back at her home and police made contact with Olson there.
Olson said at first that Hargis was not there, but after police challenged that story, Olson admitted she was hiding in the bathroom, and she was taken into custody in the homicide case and on several unrelated warrants.
Hargis declined to give a statement to police.
Olson, who was arrested on a charge of first-degree hindering prosecution or apprehension, told police that Hargis had told him she had shot Stewart with an air rifle, Dillon said.
Dillon said police collected three BB pellet guns from the residence, but have not located any surveillance video footage from the neighborhood that might show the incident.
Police spoke with a neighbor at the apartment complex who said that Hargis and Stewart knew one another and that they had “gotten along well,” Dillon said.
“(The neighbor) said she didn’t think there was any kind of feud between them,” Dillon said.
Hargis remains in Warren County Regional Jail under a $500,000 cash bond.