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Birthday party abruptly ends when a woman is struck by a stray bullet

Van Buren County Sheriffs Department
Van Buren County Sheriffs Department

HARTFORD TOWNSHIP (WKZO) -- A woman from Lawton is recovering from a freakish accident that occurred at a birthday party for a 3-year-old in the 71-thousand block of 62nd Street in Hartford Township about 7:45 Saturday evening.

The 34-year-old woman had just grabbed a can of pop at the large backyard party and she was watching the children attacking a piñata when at first she thought the can of pop had exploded in her hand.

But it was quickly determined that a bullet had actually hit the can of pop, and lodged in her arm.She was taken to Waterviliet Hospital, to have the slug removed from her bicep.

Deputies found several men about a mile away target practicing with long guns. The person who had the only rifle with that kind of range, a man from St. Joseph had left. He was tracked down and the gun seized, to be tested for a ballistics match.

He denies he was shooting recklessly, but that may be up to a prosecutor to decide.

The victim is in stable condition at Waterviliet Hospital and is expected to survive.