Police say man fired AR-15 in home with child nearby

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say a man picked up an AR-15 and fired off a round in a house with a child sleeping nearby after his girlfriend questioned him about text messages.

Police were called to the 1500 block of Patterson one minute after midnight Wednesday, according to a police report.

The victim told police she went in her live-in boyfriend’s room while he was asleep and began pushing him and yelling at him about texts she found on his phone.

Xavier Woodard, her boyfriend, woke up and grabbed the rifle, she said. When another man who lives at the house came out to the hallway to see what was going on, police say Woodard pointed the gun at the man and fired a round into the floor.

A 7-year-old child was asleep in the house, according to police.

Woodard is charged with aggravated assault and child abuse.

According to jail records, Wednesday was Woodard’s 29th birthday.

Neighbor Ira Lyons said he is troubled by the news, but not surprised.

“You know these guys around here, youngsters, they crazy doing all kinds of crazy stuff,” he said.

Domestic violence advocate Marquiepta Odom said Woodard overreacted and that this should have never risen to the level of violence.

“They should have been able to have a conversation,” Odom said.

She’s thankful the sleeping child wasn’t injured, but worries about the emotional damage that comes from living in an unstable house.

“Most times, the perpetrator or offender, they do not even imagine the trauma and the experiences and the things that they expose the children to,” she said.

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