Iowa woman hit by stray bullet from man shooting at deer, police say

An Iowa woman cleaning her stove was wounded Friday night when a man shooting at a deer missed and the bullet traveled more than 120 yards feet before hitting the woman in the head, the Des Moines Register reported.  The man, a convicted felon, was allegedly intoxicated when he fired his rifle, the newspaper reported.

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Janet Wright, 73, of Ottumwa, suffered a gunshot wound to the back of her head while cleaning, KTVO reported. Wright said she heard a loud noise and then felt pain to the back of her head. Realizing she was bleeding, she drove to a local hospital where doctors removed the bullet, the television station reported, citing a news release from the Wapello County Sheriff's Office.

Lee Joseph Ryals, 34, was arrested and charged with reckless use of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm, the Ottumwa Courier reported. In addition, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.charged Ryals with hunting without a license, shooting at a deer after legal hunting hour and attempting to take a deer illegally, the Register reported.

Credit: Wapello County Jail via AP

Credit: Wapello County Jail via AP

Ryals was convicted of forgery in 2005 and received a deferred judgement on a 2004 burglary conviction, the Ottumwa Courier reported.

Authorities said the bullet allegedly fired by Ryals from a 30-30 rifle missed the deer, traveled over a field and a street before going through Wright's living room window and hitting Wright in her kitchen, the Register reported.

Deputies said Ryals was reportedly intoxicated when he shot at the deer, the newspaper reported.

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