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Sawed-off shotgun doesn't stop woman

A Zephyrhills woman jumped in front of a loaded, sawed-off shotgun Saturday to protect a friend who was being threatened by another man.

"I had to be nuts," Barbara Russell said Monday, "but yeah, I'd probably do it again. My friends are special to me."

David Michael Salyer, 41, of Tucker Road, was charged with aggravated assault in connection with the incident. Because he is a convicted felon, he also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Sheriff's Office reports.

Several neighbors were sitting around drinking whiskey about 8:30 p.m. on the porch of the mobile home of Salyer's landlord, reports said, when Salyer and his neighbor, Archie Grace, began arguing. Witnesses told authorities that Salyer, who rents a room from the landlord, went inside and walked out with a sawed-off shotgun.

He pointed the gun at Grace and told him to get off the property or he was going to shoot.

With her back to the gunman, Russell stepped between the shotgun and Grace. Grace fled; Salyer walked back inside and put the gun down. Russell called the Sheriff's Office, and Salyer was arrested a short time later.

Salyer was released from the Central Pasco Detention Center after posting $17,000 bail.