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Walmart murder suspect fired gun to scare men, Morrissey claims

Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 18:25:08-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The woman accused of a weekend murder at Walmart fired her gun in the air to scare off two men she said were harassing her for being a lesbian, defense attorney Joe Morrissey claimed.

Morrissey is representing Brittany Wiggins. Wiggins, 24, is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and shooting into an occupied vehicle in connection to a fatal Saturday night shooting outside the Walmart superstore in Ashland.

"It's very simple," Morrissey said when asked what happened the night of the shooting.

He said Wiggins went shopping Saturday night and was harassed by two men near her car in the Walmart parking lot.

Feeling threatened by the men, Wiggins got into her vehicle and pulled out her gun, Morrissey said.

During the course of the tense exchange, Morrissey said Wiggins fired a warning shot into the air.

"We now know that errant bullet struck the innocent victim," Morrissey said.

Brittany Wiggins (left) and Ashley Fricke

Brittany Wiggins (left) and Ashley Fricke

Ashley Fricke, 25, was found shot and killed inside her car in the same Walmart parking lot.

Investigators said Fricke and Wiggins had no known connection.

Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett the initial investigation revealed the shooting was the result of a road rage incident.

"No road rage by my client. She's being bullied by these two people," Morrissey said. "If she feared for her life, and she fired it to defend herself, it's an excusable homicide and there's no crime."

When pressed to provide evidence to substantiate the claims, Morrissey referred to security video released by investigators and posted on WTVR.com.

While the video showed Wiggins' vehicle and another vehicle nearly colliding in the parking, there was no obvious proof to the points  Morrissey made.

"The vehicles of interest are a red SUV and a silver/grey/gold compact four-door sedan," an Ashland Police spokesman said the weekend of the shooting.

On Monday, police advised they were no longer looking for the red SUV nor its occupants.

Morrissey said he was repeating information Wiggins told him about the night in question.

Ashland Police referred questions about the case to the Hanover Commonwealth's Attorney. The Commonwealth's Attorney has not yet responded to an interview request.

He said she had no idea anyone was shot and promptly turned herself into police Sunday after images of her in the store were made public.

He said the Wiggins family was heartbroken over the loss of life.

Wiggins is due back in court in April 21. Morrissey said he planned to request a bond hearing before that date.