Authorities release names of women involved in Brushfork shooting

Local - 3/29/2013 6:07 PM by Karen Franklin
BRUSHFORK - Authorities identified the two people involved in a Brushfork shooting that left one woman dead.

West Virginia State Police said 42-year-old Bluefield resident Elizabeth Slagle was fatally shot in the chest Thursday night following a dispute. Police arrested Judith Kowaleski, also 42 and from Bluefield, for first-degree murder.

"I pulled in and saw the woman lying on the ground," said neighbor Ashley Moretto. "It looked like she was seizing, and I saw blood and two people -- a man and a woman -- trying to help her."

The fight began between the women's elementary school kids after one kicked the other on a school bus. The women then exchanged text messages and met at the intersection of Nichols Road and Route 123. When Slagle tried to use a Taser on Kowaleski, she was shot, police said.

"When you're little, or you're younger, kids get into spats, have disagreements and then it's over the next day," said Sgt. Melissa Clemons. "It's going to be extremely important for the school to monitor this for the family members -- both sides involved -- to make sure this doesn't escalate with any other family members or a school."

Clemons said parents "need to take a step back."

Bluefield resident Robin Shrewsbury was stunned by the murder.

"I think people need to have more restraint," she told WOAY. "I mean just because you have a gun, it doesn't give you the right to go pull it and kill somebody. It is a mistake you can't take back, and you really need to think, 'I might be mad at somebody, but is it worth killing them over? No.'"

Kowaleski was arraigned this morning in Judge Omar Aboulhosn's room and held without bond.

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