Bullet Meant for Target Strikes Mother of Three

'I thank God that my life was spared,' says Florida's Heather Sitton
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2022 1:23 PM CST
Bullet Meant for Target Strikes Mother of Three
Stock image.   (Getty/eans)

A mother of three in Florida is recovering in the hospital after she was struck by a bullet that flew into her backyard during target practice at a neighboring property. Indiantown resident Heather Sitton was in her yard with several people, including her husband and three young children, when the sound of gunfire erupted on Sunday afternoon. Husband Jason Sitton tells WPTV that he'd just asked a neighbor if they were shooting off fireworks when "my wife just dropped." A bullet went through Heather Sitton's right arm, shattering the bone, then struck her collarbone and left arm, per WPBF. "I'm yelling at the top of my lungs, 'Stop, you just shot my wife!'" Jason Sitton tells WPTV. "And they just kept shooting."

A family friend put pressure on the wound while another rushed the children inside. "I am grateful that it did not hit any of the children. I thank God that my life was spared," says Heather Sitton, who was in hospital awaiting surgery Monday night, per WPTV and NBC Miami. She tells WPBF that her 8-year-old daughter had been standing in her place "about a minute prior." The bullet "would have hit her in the head." Martin County sheriff's detectives say four people were using the same high-powered rifle to shoot into paper targets on a 5-foot berm topped with foliage on a property 900 feet to the east. "The bullets seemed to be passing through the trees and weeds," says Chief Deputy John Budensiek.

The property owner reported that the individuals did not have his permission to shoot on the property, according to an incident report. But this is not the first time errant shots have been reported as coming from that property. Neighbor Mark Rutizer tells WPTV that he filed a report with the sheriff's office a few months ago after bullets flew over his home a quarter-mile away. "I've said it before that someone will get shot and unfortunately ... that took place," he adds. "We may never be able to accurately determine who actually fired the round" that hit Heather Sutton, says Budensiek, adding that could be difficult to pursue criminal charges. (More shooting stories.)

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