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Random gunfire strikes two Janesville homes

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Ted Sullivan
November 10, 2009
— Kathy Murray found two bullet holes in the back of her Janesville home Monday morning, just a few feet from her daughter's bedroom window.

Her home was one of two hit in the 1500 block of North Parker Court after two intoxicated men randomly fired nearly 50 shots from a .32-caliber handgun, 9 mm pistol and 12-gauge shotgun, police said.


The men fired from a second-story window at 1107 Hamilton Ave., striking the two homes and a storage shed across the Rock River, Janesville Police Lt. Tim Hiers said. No one was injured.


Paul G. Botsford, 52, of 1107 Hamilton Ave., and Matthew J. Splinter, 35, of 1115 Hamilton Ave., were arrested on charges of endangering safety by use of dangerous weapon, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct while armed.


Officers received 13 reports of shots fired at about midnight, police said. They later realized the shots were coming from the house on Hamilton Avenue.


Eight officers surrounded the house. They saw a man firing a handgun toward the northeast. Police called inside the home, and two men came out, police said.


Inside the home, investigators found 47 shell casings from three firearms, Hiers said.


The men didn't appear to have any motive or target in the shooting, he said.


Dennis Jaedike, who lives next door to Murray, said he heard several shots. He then peered out his bathroom window. He saw several police cars across the river and heard an officer speaking over a megaphone.


Other neighbors said they heard shots for an hour.


Murray and her family slept through the ruckus, even though their home was hit. The bullets struck a pillar holding up their second-story deck.


The Murrays weren't aware of what happened until the police knocked on their door at 5:30 a.m. The bullet holes were found during an inspection a couple hours later.


Botsford and Splinter remain in the Rock County Jail. They are expected to appear in Rock County Court today.



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