Amish Girl Shot Dead in Buggy
Ohio shooting ruled a homicide
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2011 2:19 AM CST
Updated Dec 20, 2011 10:28 AM CST
Police aren't sure whether the buggy was deliberately targeted.   (AP Photo/David Duprey)

(Newser) – The case of a young Amish girl who was fatally shot while driving her horse and buggy home from a Christmas party has been ruled a homicide. Rachel Yoder, 15, died on Friday, a day after she was found lying on the ground outside her family's Ohio home. Relatives initially believed she had injured herself in a fall from the buggy some time after 10pm, but doctors discovered that she had been shot in the head, the Wooster Daily-Record reports.

Investigators followed a trail of blood to a nearby intersection, where they believe she was shot. No bullet holes were found in the buggy and a thorough search of the area didn't turn up any bullet casings. Police have told area residents to look out for suspicious activity and avoid traveling alone.

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Nov 27, 2013 9:03 PM CST
I was a kid in a car with some people when this old woman in the front passenger seat decided to shoot a gun out of the car window on a dark night. I was horrified but could do nothing to stop her. It's people who do utterly reckless things whether it's with guns or vehicles that cost so many innocent lives. I was scared to death I'd learn someone had been shot in that vicinity that night - and was prepared to tell police everything. Thankfully, the bullet apparently harmed no one.
Dec 21, 2011 1:31 PM CST
Clearing is the operative word. After a muzzle loader is charged with powder and a bullet it must be discharged by firing the round into a safe place such as the ground before it can be cleaned. Shooting a rifle in the air is never an accepted practice any where except perhaps from Sadams balcony. Looks like reckless endangerment to me. Just my opinion.
Dec 20, 2011 6:52 PM CST
FREDERICKSBURG, Ohio - A man cleaning his muzzle-loading rifle shot the gun into the air, accidentally killing a 15-year-old Amish girl driving a horse-drawn buggy more than a mile away, a sheriff said Tuesday. Holmes County Sheriff Timothy Zimmerly said investigators figured out what happened after the gun-cleaner's family came forward and after his neighbors reported hearing a shot at about the time the girl was wounded. The man had fired the gun in the air about 1.5 miles from where Yoder was shot, Zimmerly said. State investigators were checking the rifle for a ballistics match, he said. "In all probability, it looks like an accidental shooting," Zimmerly said.