A registered nurse has been charged with firing a shotgun at an abortion clinic before it opened for the day, police said.

Brenda Kaye Phillips, 44, of Murphy, was charged with one misdemeanor count of damage to property for shooting at the Femcare Women's Clinic early Thursday.

Four years ago, police discovered a partially exploded bomb outside the same clinic.

Police believe Phillips fired at the clinic twice between midnight and 4 a.m., with several hours elapsing between the shootings. The clinic was closed at the time and no one was injured.

Femcare sustained an estimated $500 in damages. Officials at the facility declined comment.

Asheville police said they received a call at 4:21 Thursday morning, when a woman speaking in a calm voice told a dispatcher she shot the clinic. Phillips was later arrested without incident.

Under federal law, it is illegal to damage the property or a facility of an abortion clinic. State law does not have specific provisions protecting the facilities.

Phillips received her license as a registered nurse in 2001, according to the North Carolina Board of Nursing. The license expires in 2004.

She was being held in the Buncombe County jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.