Stray bullet comes within inches of sleeping Salem girl

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by Mike Benner / KGW

NWCN.com

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 11:24 AM

SALEM, Ore. - A stray bullet came within inches of hitting a sleeping girl in Salem Sunday night but authorities said she was not an intended target.

On Monday afternoon, a Marion County deputy found a bullet lodged in a bed of mulch in the 400 block of Larussa Court NE.  It is a key piece of evidence from a shooting that left a lot of neighbors too scared to show their faces.  "It was a very unnerving situation," one neighbor said.  

The shots rang out at 10 Sunday night.  "I thought it was a car backfire and got up to look then heard five in a row, real loud shots," the neighbor added. 

"We thought it's probably a semiautomatic handgun," said Lieutenant Sheila Lorance of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.  She explained that one of the bullets went through a fence and into a little girl's bedroom, missing her head by only twelve inches and "scared her to death."

"Of course the parents, you can only imagine a round going that close to your daughter who is sleeping," Lorance added.

Another bullet tore through the porch railing of the home directly across the street.  "Again, right outside of a bedroom ... but it stopped in the railing on the porch," said Lorance. Detectives do not think the people inside the homes were intended targets.  "We think somebody was shooting at a vehicle," added Lorance.  "Either a drug deal gone bad, we're not sure, we don't think it was gang-related."

Either way, it was unsettling for neighbors who live in the area.  "Scary, because I have kids, everybody has kids," said neighbor Jennifer Byrne.  "There's no excuse for it," added another neighbor.

If you know anything about the shooting you are urged to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

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