Local woman charged in accidental shooting case

OKEECHOBEE — A 51-year-old Okeechobee woman was arrested Tuesday on a warrant that accused her of accidentally shooting another woman with bird shot.

The accused surrendered to a deputy at the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) July 19, and was arrested by Deputy Kristin Gray on a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm in public.

She was later released from the Okeechobee County Jail on her recognizance.

A report by OCSO Detective Cari Arnold indicated the shooting took place in the woman’s back yard of her N.W. 300th Street home around 9:19 a.m. Monday, June 20, when she shot a 5-year-old pit bull that had just attacked her 13-week-old English Mastiff.

The Mastiff died from its injuries.

The pit bull apparently belonged to a man who was living in the woman’s home at the time.

After the 70-pound pit bull had attacked the English Mastiff, the woman grabbed a 16-gauge bolt action shotgun that was loaded with bird shot rounds.

Detective Arnold said the woman fired once and hit the pit bull. The dog then ran to the back yard, where the woman again shot at the dog. This time, however, she apparently missed and the bird shot traveled about 223 feet and hit the female neighbor.

The detective’s report indicated the victim was walking out the back door of her home in the 14600 block of N.W. 298th Court, which is adjacent to the 300 N.W. Street property.

Bird shot struck the victim in the upper chest, the forearm and the left thumb. The victim, who is in her mid-60s, was taken to a hospital and kept there overnight for observation.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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