Pierce County authorities suspect that a man — firing his handgun repeatedly as his stolen vehicle was driven off — sent a bullet through a neighbor’s window and fatally wounded her. He has been arrested.

Share story

Pierce County authorities suspect that a man — firing his handgun repeatedly at his vehicle as it was being stolen near Bonney Lake — sent a bullet through a neighbor’s window and fatally wounded her Thursday night.

The 61-year-old woman died Friday, about 12 hours after she was hit in the head by a stray bullet while in her bedroom, authorities said. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified her as Linda Green.

Authorities believe the man, 41, whose Jeep had just been stolen, fired his handgun in the departing vehicle’s direction — and a bullet went through the woman’s bedroom window. He has been booked into Pierce County Jail.

“With gun rights come gun responsibilities,” Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said in a prepared statement to The News Tribune. “I believe that people should be able to defend themselves. But the way they do it, the methods and the approaches they use, must be applied with care and responsibility. They must consider possible consequences of actions.”

Deputies received calls from people who said they heard at least 10 gunshots between 11:10 and 11:25 p.m. Thursday, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A woman called 911 shortly afterward to report that her son’s vehicle had been stolen from outside their home in the 12300 block of Prairie Ridge Drive East.

“The caller told dispatchers her son fired multiple rounds at the suspect and the vehicle, then started chasing the vehicle down the road,” according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Less than an hour later, a relative of Green’s called 911 to say he thought she may have fallen and hit her head, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He found her bleeding on the bedroom floor, hundreds of feet away from the other home.

“Deputies were in the process of collecting evidence from the vehicle theft when a fire engine arrived across the street to provide medical aid to the woman,” the release says.

Deputies then went in the home with firefighters and determined Green had been shot, the Sheriff’s Office said. They also found a bullet hole in her bedroom window.

The 41-year-old man, who cooperated with investigators, was initially arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, the office said. Those charges would change now that the woman has died, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune.