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Couple, Stoned Out Of Minds, Fired .357 At Lightning Bugs They Thought Were Aliens, Cops Say

They told police they knew the green lights weren't lightning bugs, because they blinked twice. Cops say they were high on bathsalts. 

By Will Huntsberry

They were so high they might as well have been on another planet, Pennsylvania cops say about a couple who were arrested for shooting at lightning bugs.

Katherine McCloskey, 22, and Jesse Shields, 30, were high on bath salts in rural Clinton County when all of a sudden they believed they were surrounded by aliens firing green lasers, cops say. Shields told them he picked up a .357 magnum and started firing back.

McCloskey and Shields were actually just shooting at lightning bugs.

The couple were riding around last Saturday night when they started seeing unidentified green lights about 12:30 a.m., according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Patriot-News in Harrisburg. They suspected it might be lightning bugs at first, but then realized the ominous light sources were blinking twice — a sure sign it was not lightning bugs they told cops. 

The couple panicked.

Shields burst from the car wielding McCloskey’s father’s .357 magnum and fired it. He hoped to force "whoever was messing with them" into retreat, according to the affidavit.

After exiting the car, Shields kept running until he ended up at a nearby home, where the owner met him at the door. Apparently fearing for his life, Shields insisted the person call police, according to the affidavit.

The homeowner said Shields used the butt of the pistol to smash the glass on a screen door and come inside the house.

But before cops could arrive, the couple tore out, Shields on foot and McCloskey driving the car. They headed to another nearby house.

Gary and Glenna Emel were faced with the sheer terror of waking up to an unknown person shrieking inside their house, according to the affidavit.

They found Shields, screaming about being attacked, and McCloskey, sobbing, in their living room. Glenna Emel called 911 and Gary Emel managed to get the gun away from Shields.

Shields told the homeowners his skin was burning and that he was covered in “goo,” according the affidavit. He asked to use the shower.

Cops arrived and charged the couple with several crimes. Shields was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm without a license, burglary, reckless endangerment and several other crimes. He is in jail under 250,000 bond, according to the Patriot-News.

McCloskey was charged with a DUI, burglary, criminal trespass and other lesser crimes. She is in jail under $15,000 bail, according to the Patriot-News.

[Photo: Clinton County Correctional Facility]

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