By Amy Patterson
Bowling Green Times
A man from the rural outskirts of southern Pike County remains behind bars after an altercation between he and his wife ended with her sustaining a gunshot wound to her forehead.
According to Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte, his office received a call on Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 4:21 p.m. from a man at 14399 Pike 340 who stated he had accidently shot his wife.
Responding to the scene were Northwest Fire Protection District First Responders, Pike County EMS, an Air Evac Helicopter, and the Sheriff’s Office.
Colleen Rusher, age 42, of that address, received a gunshot wound to her forehead and was transported to a St. Louis area hospital, where she was listed in serious condition.
Steve Rusher, age 47, also of that address, was the caller.
A probable cause statement completed by a detective with the Sheriff’s Department reads that Rusher and the victim were in a verbal argument, during which Rusher “retrieved a Winchester Model 140 semi-automatic 20-gauge shotgun from a wall” in the residence.
The statement continues by saying that Rusher shot the gun, which was loaded with birdshot.
“The projectiles struck [Colleen] in the head causing serious physical injury,” the report details.
During an interview following the shooting, Rusher told the detective that the victim had called him “stupid.”
“Steven told me he hates being called ‘stupid’ and [omitted] made him mad when [omitted] called him ‘stupid,’” reads the statement.
In the report, Rusher allegedly told detectives he was attempting to “diffuse the situation” by retrieving the gun from the wall, adding he cleans his guns when he wants to calm down.
According to the statement, Steven said he checked the magazine tube to see if the gun was loaded, but did not check the chamber.
“Steven told me the magazine tube was unloaded so he pulled the trigger,” the probably cause statement details. “…Steven told me he did not purposely shoot [omitted], but it was his fault she got shot.”
The report adds that Rusher told detective he “has been around guns since he was 10 years old, and he was taught how to safely handle firearms at a young age.”
Rusher has been charged by Pike County Prosecutor Mark Fisher with count I class C felony of domestic assault in the second degree, count II class C felony of unlawful possession of a fire arm by a convicted felon and count III the felony of armed criminal action. A Sept. 3 arraignment has been scheduled.
Rusher pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession earlier this year.
His bond was set by the Honorable Judge David Ash at $25,000 cash only. Rusher was in custody at the Pike County Jail as of press time.