HAMPDEN — A local woman was charged with misdemeanor assault Sunday after allegedly shooting her former roommates with a pellet gun when they returned to her residence to search for a missing dog.

Kara Sickles, 29, was summoned after she used a Crosman air gun to shoot her two former roommates, who she said, refused to leave the property.

“There was a verbal argument and she decided to grab a BB gun, a pellet gun, to fend them off,” Hampden police Officer Anthony Lorenz said of Sickles. “[The injured couple] called 911 because they were struck by BBs.”

Police took the air gun as evidence and said the missing dog was not at the residence, the officer said.

Sickles and her boyfriend, Aaric Rowe, got into an argument with their former roommates at their Mayo Road residence at about 1:40 p.m. The former roommates said they had returned to search for Brody, a playful collie-beagle mix who went missing in early March.

“This is what this is all about — the puppy,” one of the former roommates, a 26-year-old man said, pointing at a missing dog sign posted on a utility pole at the end of the driveway.

The man had a red mark on his upper right arm, apparently caused by a BB or pellet.

“They shot me, and my pregnant girlfriend in the stomach,” he said, declining to provide his name. He pulled up his shirt and indicated his 25-year-old girlfriend was hit at the top of her stomach. She was inside an ambulance at the time and a member of the ambulance crew could be seen treating his minor injury at the scene.

Sickles, Rowe, and two children, ages 3 and 6, were home when the couple arrived at the residence , yelling for their missing dog, Rowe said.

Sickles and Rowe said they kicked out their former roommates a few weeks after the dog went missing.

Sickles was upstairs arguing with the couple through a second story window, he said, adding the couple’s former roommates were throwing rocks at her.

The children were “crying and screaming because they were out here yelling,” Rowe said, standing near the front porch.

“They were told to leave the property several times and they wouldn’t leave. They were threatening to come into the house,” he said. “She did what she had to do to protect her family and her house. I don’t think she should have been charged.”

The pregnant woman, who is seven months along, her boyfriend told Lorenz, were given a ride to the police station in the ambulance where they gave statements and were picked up by friends, the officer said.

“I’m alright,” the pregnant woman said as she left the station.

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