Iowa Woman in Her Kitchen Shot in Head by Deer Poacher’s Bullet
Hunter safety 101. DO NOT hunt while intoxicated and never, ever fire in the direction of a house. Lee Ryals is accused of breaking both of those rules, although calling what happened "hunting" is probably a stretch.
Ryals, 34 of Chillicothe, Iowa, is accused of shooting at a deer Friday night, January 4. Nighttime deer hunting is not allowed... more on that later. Ryals bullet missed the deer. Unfortunately, it hit a very unsuspecting target... 73-year-old Janet Wright. Janet was cleaning her kitchen stove when she felt a sudden pain in the back of her head. Bleeding profusely, she drove herself to the hospital in Ottumwa. Doctors at Ottumwa Regional Hospital removed a bullet from her head and called the Wapello County Sheriff's Office, at approximately 7:45 p.m.
Where did the bullet originate? The Wapello County Sheriff's Office says in a press release that Ryals' bullet went through a field and across a road, before going through a window in another part of Wright's home and striking her. It is believed the bullet traveled more than 120 yards or the length of a football field, including both end zones. According to KTVO, Ryals had been staying in a camper at 8716 100th Ave. He reportedly shot at the deer from the deck of a home at that address, at around 7 p.m. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducted an investigation the following day and say they believe Ryals was intoxicated when he fired the shot.
Ryals faces six different charges:
- Possessing a Firearm as a Felon
- Reckless Use of a Firearm
- Hunting without a License
- Shooting at a Deer After Legal Hunting Hours
- Attempting to Take a Deer Illegally
- Possession of a Prohibited Rifle while Deer Hunting
There's no word on Wright's condition.