Amish girl's killing likely an accident, Ohio sheriff says

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 20, 2011 2:53 PM

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Amish girl killed last week as she drove home in a horse-drawn buggy appears to have been shot accidentally by a hunter unloading his rifle more than a mile away, authorities said on Tuesday.

The girl, 15-year-old Rachel Yoder, was shot in the head last Thursday near her home in Fredericksburg, Ohio. She was taken by helicopter to Akron City Hospital, where she died.

Holmes County Sheriff Tim Zimmerly told Reuters on Tuesday that a man contacted his office to say he had discharged his muzzle-loading rifle about 1.5 miles from where Yoder was wounded at the time of the incident.

"Our investigation is not complete but it is looking like an accidental shooting," Zimmerly said.

Zimmerly did not release the name of a man, who told authorities he had returned home from hunting and cleared his rifle by firing it into the air.

"It is a common way to unload a muzzle-loading rifle," Zimmerly said.

No charges have been filed in the case.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by James B. Kelleher)