10 July 2008

Woman tries to kill mice, shoots self

Criminal charges sought for 'mouse shooter'

link to article

By Glenda Anderson

Published: Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 11:34 a.m.

A Potter Valley woman who wounded herself and a man July 3 while attempting to kill mice with a .44 magnum revolver may be charged with negligent discharge of a firearm, authorities said Thursday.

Debra Due, 43, was trying to eliminate mice in a travel trailer on her property for a new tenant who was moving in when the accidental shooting occurred, said Mendocino County Sheriff’s Capt. Kurt Smallcomb.

The tenant and a man had begun moving the woman’s belongings into the trailer at 9:30 p.m. July 2, he said.

At about 1:20 a.m. July 3, Due, who was intoxicated, went down to the trailer with her gun, holstered under her left arm, Smallcomb said.

“Being a good landlord, she comes down to take care of this mouse problem,” he said.

But as she drew the revolver from its holster, it slipped from her hand, hit the floor and fired, Smallcomb said.

The bullet went through the woman’s right kneecap then struck a set of keys hanging on the man’s belt loop. The bullet glanced off the keys and tore a hole in the man’s pants, he said.

The bullet traveled between the man’s pants and his under shorts, grazing his groin area before coming to rest in his coin pocket, from where it was recovered for evidence, Smallcomb said.

“He’s really lucky. If it didn’t hit him in the key chain, who knows what would have happened,” he said.

Due was taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment an later discharged.

The Sheriff’s Office has submitted the case to the District Attorney’s Office, suggesting that Due be charged with negligent discharge of a firearm, Smallcomb said.

Smallcomb said there may be a lesson to be learned from the accident.

“I guess you don’t drink and shoot mice at the same time,” he said.

No comments: