The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

March 5, 2013

Trail walker shot through legs in Neosho

Police open investigation

NEOSHO, Mo. — The shooting of a woman through her legs Sunday night while she was walking a trail in Morse Park in Neosho remains a mystery.

The Neosho Police Department is investigating the shooting that took place shortly before 10 p.m. that sent a 29-year-old woman to the emergency room of Freeman Neosho Hospital. The woman told police she and her husband were walking a trail in the park when she was shot.

A single bullet of unknown caliber is believed to have passed through both her thighs without causing serious damage, according to Lt. David Kennedy, with the Neosho Police Department. She was treated at the hospital and released.

“Luckily, it didn’t hit anything (vital),” Kennedy said. “Just in and out and in and out. She was very fortunate.”

The couple reportedly heard two gunshots in the distance as they were walking along the paved trail through the park. They were proceeding toward their vehicle and were near a walking bridge across from the ballfields when they heard two more shots. The woman felt a stinging in her legs and realized that she had been shot.

The shots may have come from a wooded area near the ballfields, raising the possibility that they may have been errant discharges from the weapon of somebody illegally hunting or target shooting inside city limits. The couple said they did not see anyone or any vehicles in the area.

Kennedy said police searched the area Sunday night and Monday morning and were unable to find any clues that could be connected to the incident.

“We’re going to go back and visit with the victim again and the victim’s husband,” he said.

He said police were not releasing the woman’s name out of caution and a concern for her safety until police can establish if the shooting was accidental.

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