Errant gunshot a near miss in Newmarket

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Mar 31, 2005
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Errant gunshot a near miss in Newmarket

Democrat Staff Writer

A 45-caliber Bullet punched a hole in the headboard of Christopher Cookinham and his fiancee Elizabeth Cheverie. Their neighbor was later arrested for firing the bullet.

NEWMARKET — One thing is for sure, Christopher Cookinham is glad he stayed up late Thursday night.

If not, the bullet that burst through his wall, headboard, pillow and came to rest in his bed around 8:20 p.m. could have taken his life.

Cookinham normally goes to bed around that time, since he starts work at 5 a.m.

But as luck had it, he was up assembling a memorial service pamphlet for his fiancee's uncle.

"It's nothing short of a miracle no one was hurt," said Newmarket Detective Tara Laurent.

Cookinham and his fiancee, Elizabeth Cheverie, couldn't have agreed more.

The nightmare scenario unfolded Thursday when their neighbor, 36-year-old Tony Borchard, apparently fired a shot from a 45-caliber handgun he claimed to be cleaning.

He was arrested Thursday and arraigned Friday on charges of reckless conduct.

Still shaken, the duo recounted in an interview Friday with Foster's Daily Democrat how they discovered that a bullet fired in an adjoining condo landed where they sleep.

Recounting the details of Thursday night, the 26-year-old Cookinham, who works as an engineer at Liberty Mutual, said he and Cheverie, 25, heard a gunshot while working on a memorial service flyer for Cheverie's deceased uncle in the living room of their condo at the Great Bay Woods complex off Lita Lane.

Cookinham said he stayed up later than usual to help Cheverie create the program on their computer.

Upon hearing the shot, Cookinham said he ran out into complex's hallway to look around, but found no sign of anything unusual so he let it go. An hour later, they decided to go to bed only to discover the stuffing from one of their pillows strewn everywhere.

"We thought the dogs had attacked the bed," Cheverie said.

"Then I reached up and felt the hole and said 'Call 911,'" Cookinham said.

Once police arrived, it took three officers to find the bullet lodged between the folds of their sheets.

"Who would have thought it would go right through a hardwood headboard and stop on a pillow," Cookinham said.

Had the bullet continued on its trajectory, Cookinham estimated it might have struck him as he sat on his living room couch.

Both said they have not fully felt the emotional impact of the event yet, but remain rattled.

"I don't think I can leave the bed where it is," said Cheverie.

Cookinham said he is angry because he designed the bed and his father, Randy, built it.

"It's an heirloom," he said.

Cookinham and Cheverie said they had never spoken to Borchard. Whenever they attempted to be friendly he would just nod and walk by.

Borchard was arraigned Friday on a reckless conduct charge and is being held at Rockingham County Jail on $25,000 cash surety bail.

A probable cause hearing date for Borchard has been set for Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Laurent said she recommended the high bail because it would hold Borchard in custody.

In court, Borchard told the judge he regretted the incident and said he has lost interest in firearms.

"Shooting is a hobby of mine," he told the judge. "I really feel I need to give that hobby up."

While in the apartment police found another handgun and rifle along with 500 rounds of ammunition, Laurent said.

While inside Borchard's apartment, police located the gun that had been discharged and found its hammer cocked.

"He claimed that he had been cleaning it, but we had no evidence of that," Laurent told the judge.

Laurent said the crime was particularly disturbing because Borchard made no attempt to contact his neighbors or open the door for police when they knocked on the door, requiring them to eventually forcing it open. She said he had admitted he knew police were outside the door.

"I did not say that," Borchard replied.

Cookinham said police had to use some type of battering ram to open the door and the marks on Borchard's door still remained as of Friday evening.

When police entered they found three guns, the handgun, another handgun and a .22 rifle along with 500 rounds of ammunition.

Laurent said she had been to many accidental firearm discharges but never one like this.

"The stuffing inside the pillow and the shards of wood from the headboard were another 10 feet beyond the round and across the room," Laurent said.

The incident has motivated the couple to buy a house. They had bought the condominium on Lita Lane in order to build some equity.

"We're probably going to push harder to get out of here much quicker," said Cookinham.


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Nov 18, 2005
Life Free or Die
Sounds a little fishy...Moron.

Since George Carlin was brought up recently, I'd like to correct the title of the article...It should read "Errant Gunshot A Near Hit in Newmarket"...A near miss means "too bad, it nearly missed." [rolleyes]


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61   0   0
Mar 21, 2006
This is the kind of stuff that I hate to see, because it only reinforces the
stereotypes the libtards try to push around about gun owners.

It's also the crap that creates a footpath to more restrictions, regs, and
mandatory licensing of owners, etc.

Worse yet on top of this, this guy tried to avoid taking responsibility for
his actions. He hid from the cops like a coward instead of going to his
neighbors to see where the bullet went. Had he at least made an effort
to see if his bullet went somewhere and made sure nobody got hurt, its possible
the neighbors wouldnt have called the cops, or even if they did, its
possible he would have been charged with something lesser. And even if the charge
was the same, it's obviously not going to look good in court for
the guy when the prosecutor explains that the police had to bash his door down, and
then he made up a dumbass excuse about "cleaning his gun", instead of just telling
them that he fired the gun "accidentally" because of his negligence.

It only takes the actions of one retard to undo the goodwill/progress
made by many more gun owners. These people might have been
antis to begin with, but if they werent before, they'll definitely be thinking
about the issue now. Jackass.

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39   0   0
Apr 7, 2006
New England
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Errant gunshot a near miss in Newmarket

When police entered they found three guns, the handgun, another handgun and a .22 rifle along with 500 rounds of ammunition.
Only 500 rounds? I hope they never inventory my place. [rofl]
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