Iowa hunter misses deer, hits woman in home

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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KWQC) – Janet Wright was in her kitchen cleaning her stovetop last Friday night when she heard a loud noise.

Wright, 73, then felt pain in the back of her head and noticed she was bleeding heavily.

She drove herself to Ottumwa Regional Hospital where doctors removed a bullet lodged in her head.

Investigators would later determine the bullet had been fired by a man accused of being intoxicated while shooting at a deer.

Lee J. Ryals, 34, is now charged possessing a firearm as a felon and reckless use of a firearm.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Ryals was staying a camper in the 8700 block of 100th Avenue when he fired a gun at a deer from the front deck of the residence.

After missing the deer, the bullet, fired from a 30-30 rifle, traveled across a field and across 100th Avenue before entering Wright’s house.

“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,” according to an Iowa DNR media release.

The Iowa DNR has charged Ryals with hunting without a hunting license, shooting at a deer after legal hunting hours, attempting to take a deer illegally, and possession of a prohibited rifle while hunting deer.

The Des Moines Register reports Wright has been discharged from the hospital.