DANA POINT (CBSLA.com) — A Dana Point woman was struck by a fragment from a stray bullet in her condominium late Tuesday night when her neighbor’s assault rifle accidentally went off.
The incident happened in the 25000 block of Quail Run.
KCAL9’s Michele Gile reported that Laurie Williams Horton’s unidentified neighbor was disassembling his gun when it fired a shot.
The bullet pierced Horton’s kitchen wall and grazed her forehead while she was sitting at her dining room table.
“It just slammed my head. It was a big, loud pop. It had kinda an odd smell,” said Horton.
The 63-year-old grandmother said she was still conscious, but bleeding and stunned. Her husband, Jim, ran to her aid from the bedroom.
“I realized that Laurie was bleeding from the forehead. Didn’t know why or anything. I thought something exploded, like the computer or the phone or something, or a light bulb, we didn’t know. And then our neighbor came running over and said, ‘Are you okay? Are you okay? My gun went off,’” said Jim.
The neighbor said the bullet came from an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Officials said it was legally owned.
“I had just gotten a new gun and I was testing out parts of it, taking it apart and putting it back together,” he said.
The neighbor added that he didn’t realize he loaded the rifle.
“I was scared to death,” he said.
The victim, now with the bullet fragment removed and her forehead stitched up, said she hopes her neighbor gives up his weapon.
The neighbor responded, “You know, it’s too early for me to think about it.”