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First female Green Beret charged in Colorado with accidentally shooting into neighbor's apartment

No one was hurt in the Dec. 12 shooting incident, the Army said.

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Bullet casings
An example of bullet casings
(Lance Cpl. Jacob Bertram / U.S. Marine Corps)
Updated: January 5, 2021 - 8:11pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The first female Green Beret is facing a court appearance in Colorado after police said she fired a handgun inside her apartment and sent a bullet into her neighbor's bathroom.

The woman, identified in police documents as Agnija Reke, 34, has been charged with a misdemeanor and faces a court date later this month in Colorado Springs, according to police and court officials. Reke told officers she fired the loaded gun indoors last month by mistake while training in her home, a characterization echoed by the Army.

"Our command is engaged with local authorities regarding an incident involving one of our soldiers and an apparent accidental discharge of a firearm at an off-post residence in Colorado Springs," Maj. Dan Lessard, spokesman for 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), said. 

The Army did not reference the soldier by name, though Colorado police identified Reke in an official report. The woman graduated from the 53-week Special Forces Qualification "Q Course" at Fort Bragg, N.C. in July, when the Army announced that the first female had become a Green Beret. Reke currently lives in Colorado Springs, where the 10th Special Forces Group is stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.

No one was hurt in the Dec. 12 shooting incident, the Army said. "While the handgun was discharged inside an apartment, no injuries occurred," Lessard said.

According to Colorado Springs police, officers learned of the episode an hour or so after the weapon allegedly was fired.

Reke's neighbor, Jeremiah Perales, told police that he was asleep at home early on that Saturday morning when a loud bang from the next door apartment awakened him. The 19-year-old Perales went back to sleep at 7:15 a.m., according to a report from the responding officer, Thomas Walling.

When Perales woke up to use the bathroom about an hour later, he discovered a hole in his bathroom, plus a scrape along one wall, and a bullet lodged inside his bath towel, the police report said.

"He stated at that time he was concerned about his neighbor and was going to contact them but felt it would be best, instead, to contact law enforcement," Walling wrote.

Approximately one hour lapsed between when the gun was fired and police arrived at the neighbor's apartment, according to the police report. Officers made no mention in the report whether Reke tried to contact Perales before police arrived.

Just the News was not able to reach Reke for comment.

Based on the scene, officers wrote in their report they believed that the bullet had come through the wall from the adjacent apartment. Police then went next door, where Reke greeted them.  

"I asked Ms. Reke what had occurred and why there was a bullet hole in her neighbor's bathroom wall to which she explained she had been practicing dry fire training with her personal carry handgun," Walling wrote. "She informed me she had made a mistake and did not think the firearm had a chambered round when she conducted this training drill. As a result she accidentally discharged the firearm into the wall."

Police took into evidence the handgun Reke said she used in the early morning training drill.

The weapon is a Smith & Wesson Military & Police Shield 9 mm handgun. The manufacturer has recalled some of its M&P Shield models, for a safety defect that can result in unintended discharges under certain circumstances. In a search of serial numbers involved in the safety recall, Just the News did not find the serial number police listed for the weapon they seized from Reke's apartment. 

Legal issues surrounding the shooting incident will be addressed in civilian courts, the Army said. 

"Because the incident occurred off-post, local authorities have jurisdiction," Lessard said. "We will continue to coordinate with local authorities and closely monitor the civilian case as it moves towards resolution in municipal court."

Reke will appear in court for a Jan. 28 hearing, a clerk with the Colorado Springs Municipal Court told Just the News.