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'I wish my sister were back:' brother mourns woman shot by stray bullet in Bonney Lake

61-year-old Linda Green was killed by a stray bullet meant for a car thief. (Family photo)

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. (KOMO) - A 61-year-old woman who was shot in the head by a stray bullet meant for a car thief has died.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said early Friday afternoon that the woman had died. Her family identifies her as Linda Green.

"I wish my sister was back," said her brother, Chuck Green. "He has taken the love of our life from a whole group of people."

The events that led to her shooting began at 11 p.m. Thursday when a 40-year-old resident of the 2300 block of Prairie Ridge Drive East in Bonney Lake discovered that his Jeep Cherokee had been stolen. He went outside and fired several shots at the fleeing car.

"All of a sudden, we just hear 'pop, pop, pop, pop, pop' like 9 or 10 of them," said neighbor Kirstin Solvie.

"I saw him getting in his car," added neighbor Spencer Ruggenberg, "and he told me that someone had just stolen his Jeep, which we saw driving off as well."

The shooter's mother called 911 30 minutes later to report the theft.

The car theft victim even posted on his Facebook page: "Hey somebody just stole my Cherokee out of front of my house. Anybody see my Cherokee driving around, snorkel on it, grab them."

Authorities found the stolen car later about a mile away. Its back window had been shot, but the thief was gone.

It wasn't until about an hour later that emergency crews were called to a home two blocks away, said Detective Sgt. Gary Sanders with the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Chuck Green said his sister had been laying in bed watching TV and doing a crossword puzzle. He called for help when he found her on the floor.

"They said, 'hey there's a hole in the window back here,'" said Chuck Green. "Then examined her and said she'd been shot."

Sanders said investigators believe that she was shot by a stray bullet fired at the stolen car. Deputies found a bullet hole in a bedroom window.

"I'm in shock and disbelief," said Chuck Green. "It's senseless. That guy should never have gotten his gun out."

He said Green worked on the Boeing 737 line until retiring after losing her foot to diabetes.

The man who fired the gun has since been arrested for investigation of assault. The prosecutor's office told KOMO News you can use lethal force to defend yourself, but generally you can't use deadly force to protect against non-violent crime.

"That's just crazy shooting at people over a car," said neighbor Jeff Lacy. "It's a vehicle. It's a material thing. Now this guy has probably ruined his whole life."




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