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Couple mistake fireflies for 'alien lasers,' fight back with gun, police say

Authorities say the pair were high on bath salts

Jesse Shields and Katherine McCloskey
Jesse Shields and Katherine McCloskey

CLINTON COUNTY, Pa. – A Pennsylvania man high on bath salts told police last week that he fired a gun at fireflies because he thought the glowing insects were "alien lasers," authorities said.

Police said Jesse Shields and his girlfriend, Katherine McCloskey, believed the fireflies were "messing with them" and wanted to scare them off.

After firing the gun, Shields, along with McCloskey, ran away from the insects and broke into two homes, frightening the owners in Clinton County, Pennsylvania. Shields told the second homeowners that he was being attacked, and they needed to call 911, the Harrisburg Patriot News reported. 

Shields also asked to use their shower because he was covered  in "goo" that was burning his skin, police said. McCloskey was crying, the homeowners told the newspaper.

Bath salts is a street name for a type of synthetic stimulant that is sometimes sold under the guise of being a product for baths. The drug is known to cause bizarre behavior and hallucinations.

Shields and McCloskey face a number of charges. including burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.