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Hunter shoots at deer, hits 73-year-old woman cleaning her stove, Iowa police say

This photo provided by Wapello County Jail in Ottumwa, Iowa shows Lee Ryals. Ryals faces felony charges after officials say he fired a rifle from the front deck of a camper hitting a woman in her home. (Wapello County Jail via AP)
This photo provided by Wapello County Jail in Ottumwa, Iowa shows Lee Ryals. Ryals faces felony charges after officials say he fired a rifle from the front deck of a camper hitting a woman in her home. (Wapello County Jail via AP) AP

A 73-year-old woman who was cleaning up her kitchen in Iowa last week can attest that horrible things happen when bullets go astray.

Janet Wright was at home in Ottumwa about 7 p.m. on Friday night, cleaning her stovetop, when a bullet went flying into her home, according to officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

She heard a loud noise and felt pain in the back of her head, then blood, said a statement from the department reported by the Des Moines Register.

She was shot.

DNR conservation officers who investigated discovered that Wright was the victim of a bizarre, alcohol-fueled hunting accident, according to KCWI 23 in Des Moines.

KCWI reported that investigators found that Lee Joseph Ryals, who is 34, was staying at a camper nearby when he fired at a deer from the front deck using a 30-30 rifle.

“Conservation officers also discovered that the round that struck Wright traveled 123.5 yards before it entered her home through a living room window, traveling the length of the house before striking her in the back of the head,” the TV station reported.

When Wright realized she’d been shot she drove herself and her bleeding head to Ottumwa Regional Health Center where doctors removed the bullet, according to KTVO in Kirksville, Missouri.

Ryals faces a slew of charges from the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office - some felonies - including reckless use of a firearm, KTVO reported. DNR officials also hit him with several charges, including shooting at a deer after legal hunting hours, the TV station said.

The Register reports that Wright is out of the hospital.

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