Bellamy Drive

Authorities have identified the 36-year old woman who was fatally shot early Thursday morning (Oct. 10) at her home on Bellamy Drive in Crystal City. The victim is Mary Praster, Crystal City Police Chief Chad Helms said.

Praster allegedly had attacked and threatened the shooter’s life, according to a written statement from the Crystal City Police Department.

At 2:47 a.m., the alleged shooter – a 77-year-old woman who also lived in the home – called 911 to report the shooting, the report said.

Helms said the two women were not related by blood.

The 77-year-old told police she and Praster “were in a domestic relationship,” the report said.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found Praster on the living room floor with multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. She was deceased, according to the report.

The 77-year-old reportedly told police she shot Praster in self-defense because she feared for her life. She also allegedly told police that her relationship with Praster had been violent in the past, the report said.

The alleged shooter told police Praster had physically attacked her several times earlier in the evening. The 77-year-old also said Praster had threatened to kill her if she called the police, according to the report.

Police recovered a handgun believed to have been used in the shooting and observed “physical trauma” to the 77-year-old.

The 77-year-old has cooperated with police, and she was not in custody, Helms said this morning (Oct. 11).

He said the incident is still under investigation.

Crystal City Police said once the investigation is complete, the department will submit its findings to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

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