Shooting kills man, girl wounded
Mother to appear before jury; "horseplay' cited

Friday, June 12, 1998

BY EARNEST WINSTON
The Cincinnati Enquirer

GRATZ, Ky. -- A case involving a woman who police say fatally shot an acquaintance and critically wounded her own teen-aged daughter Wednesday will go before an Owen County grand jury July 7, police said Thursday. Police said Angela Turner, 34, of Gratz, had been "drinking alcohol and engaged in horseplay" about 10 p.m. when she pointed a loaded .300-caliber Magnum rifle at Merrell Louis Downey Jr., 26, also of Gratz, and pulled the trigger.

Police said the shell went through Mr. Downey's torso and left arm and struck Tracy Wells, 14, Ms. Turner's daughter, in the face. She is in critical condition at the University of Louisville Hospital, a nursing supervisor said Thursday.

Mr. Downey died shortly before midnight Wednesday at Owen County Hospital.

"It appears that the shooting was accidental," said Detective Mark Bess of the La Grange post of the Kentucky State Police, which is investigating.

As of late Thursday, no charges had been filed.

"We see a lot of homicides, suicides and accidental shootings, but this case is unique," Detective Bess said. He didn't elaborate. The shooting occurred at the Crittenden Street home of Ms. Turner and Joe Meyer, her boyfriend.

Mr. Meyer reported the shooting as an accident, but state police plan to present evidence to a grand jury for a possible indictment. State police are investigating potential witnesses. "I believe it could have been avoided," Detective Bess said.



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