BONNEY LAKE, Wash. – A Pierce County woman died Friday afternoon after being hit by a stray bullet.
Sheriff’s deputies said the woman’s neighbor was firing at someone who was stealing his car late Thursday night.
Investigators said a couple of homes were struck by stray bullets, which were likely intended for the car thief.
Neighbors in the Prairie Ridge area said they were stunned that more people weren’t hurt.
“We heard about 10 shots being fired,” said neighbor Destiney Myers. “It’s just a really horrible situation for everybody involved right now.”
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies said the man interrupted a car thief before midnight but he took the law into his own hands when he opened fire at the stranger who was driving off in his Jeep.
“We’ve been shocked by it all morning, I just can’t believe that that happened,” said Myers.
Some of those bullets slammed into at least two homes down the street, with one smashing through a window and hitting 61-year-old Linda Green who was sleeping in her bedroom at the time. She was struck in the head.
Investigators said Linda’s son found her lying on the floor with a bleeding head wound. But when medics arrived, they told deputies her injuries did not come from a fall.
“They find there’s a gunshot wound to her head and there’s a bullet hole into her window,” said Gary Sanders with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
Linda was rushed to a Tacoma hospital, but by Friday afternoon she had died from her injuries.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested the man who they believe pulled the trigger. He could face serious charges after his errant bullet killed his neighbor.
“I can understand the frustration of somebody stealing your vehicle, but it’s a property crime,” Sanders said.
The suspected gunman is behind bars and could face a judge Monday morning.
The alleged car thief got away. Investigators found the stolen vehicle abandoned about a mile away.