Walla Walla man accused of assault, shooting at home

Eric D. Hight allegedly attacked his girlfriend and fired two weapons in his home Sunday.

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WALLA WALLA -- A Walla Walla man was arrested late Sunday on suspicion of firing rounds from a gun at his residence and assaulting his girlfriend, police said.

Eric D. Hight, 42, of 104 Fire Station Lane, was booked into Walla Walla County Jail on suspicion of first-degree assault-domestic violence and unlawfully possessing a firearm. Hight reportedly has a third-degree assault conviction from a previous offense, which brought on the firearm charge, said Walla Walla Police Officer Tim Bennett. Hight was on probation through the Department of Correction until July 2009.

Hight is accused of firing several rounds inside his home, and assaulting his 47-year-old girlfriend, although she was not hit by gunfire.

The Walla Walla Police reports that Hight and his girlfriend had spent Sunday drinking alcohol, when they began to argue. Hight then allegedly got a handgun, and fired it into an interior wall until it was spent. The woman reportedly hid the gun, and was then assaulted by Hight when he allegedly struck her with a metal paper towel holder that left a gash on her head.

The argument escalated, and Hight allegedly strangled the woman and threatened to kill her with a high-powered rifle. Hight then allegedly got the rifle, and lifted it toward the woman's head several times. He fired the rifle once when it was about 10 inches above her head, according to police reports. Police traced the bullet through several walls, and found it had flown through the house and through a neighbor's fence.

The woman was able to leave the home, and called 911 from a friend's house about 9:30 p.m., Bennett said.

Police officers arrived at the home on Fire Station Lane, and Hight, who had apparently left, arrived within a few moments. A short confrontation followed, police said, but Hight was eventually taken into custody. He was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for injuries sustained earlier in the day.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.

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