By Yepoka Yeebo
MANHATTAN — An off-duty police officer shot her girlfriend early on Monday after a suspicious text message sparked a violent argument in their Harlem home, police said.
Sources told the Daily News that the fight started when police officer Ekeythia Dunston, 32, got a text message from another woman at about 3.25 a.m., enraging her partner Erica LeGall, 42.
LeGall hit Dunston across the head with a clothes iron, leaving a "tennis ball sized welt," the News reported.
Dunston, picked up her pistol, and shot LeGall once in the thigh and once in the shoulder, police said.
The two argued as LeGall's son Jayleen, 7, and Dunston's son Daichoi, 13, slept in their room. The couple's 32-year-old baby sitter was also in the apartment, but was not harmed, police said.
"It's horrible," Dunston's mother, Ekeythia, 51, told the News. "It's been a fog on me all day. I hope everyone's okay."
LeGall was taken to Harlem Hospital where she is listed in stable condition. She was charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child according to police.
Dunston was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital Columbia and treated for her head injury. She was charged with assault, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. Dunston, who works in the 108th Precinct in Long Island City, was suspended without pay.
Dunston's mother told the News that both children were taken away by the city's Administration for Children's Services.