Shot Fired On Gilmer Square - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/24/06-Longview

Shot Fired On Gilmer Square

  What started as a business dispute ends with an Upshur county woman in jail for firing a shot on the downtown Gilmer square .

"When we realized what happened it was a shocker, it was like stepping out of reality because this town , its not something you see everyday, it never happens" said Sav-On manager Jay Parker.

A bullet hole is a constant reminder of how close workers at Sav-On office supplies came to disaster. In the busiest part of the day, around 1:45 Tuesday, 51 year old Rita Knight fired a shot in the downtown square.

"Our first reaction was to get down and get to the back of the store" said Parker.

Investigators say Knight stopped her car on the square, took out a pistol and fired a bullet through the back window of a car.  That bullet went through the front windshield and hit the business window of Sav-On Office Supplies.

"She pulled up and saw the vehicle parked there. She knew whose vehicle it was, the vehicle she shot was an intended victim" said Detective Sargeant Scott Richardson of the Gilmer police.

"I'm baffled.  I really don't know what to say I mean it scares me just being here you expect that you're going to be safe walking around the square" said regular downtown visitor Bobbie Tichi.

One woman feels especially fortunate to be alive. Just seconds before the shot, she moved from the exact spot where the bullet ended up.

"Thank you, Jesus, that I'm still here, because it just wasn't my time" said Sav-On employee Mary Ann Gibbons.

"9 times out of 10 we're at that register if it had happened 3 minutes earlier there would have been somebody there" Parker said.

Knight was later arrested at her Longview home. Investigators say she had an ongoing dispute over land she owned with a real estate company on the block, and fired the shot at one of their cars. Rita Knight is charged with deadly conduct.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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