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Stray Shot Fired by Teen Kills Lakeside Woman

February 25, 1988|CURTIS L. TAYLOR | Times Staff Writer

An 84-year-old Lakeside woman was killed Wednesday when a stray bullet fired by one of three teen-agers, who were illegally target shooting on a nearby hill, went through her kitchen window and struck her in the upper chest, sheriff's deputies said.

Although an inquiry is continuing, authorities have initially ruled the shooting as accidental.

Rose Cudigan, of the 1300 block of Ha Hana Road, where she had lived for 40 years, was pronounced dead at 9:27 a.m. at AMI Valley Medical Center, where she had been taken by paramedics, authorities said.

Her husband, Raymand L. Cudigan, who was also in the kitchen, was unharmed, and called deputies for help, said Sheriff's Sgt. Danny Goodrich.

Cudigan was so distraught after the shooting that he had to be taken to the hospital, deputies said.

The teen-agers were shooting at a tin can with a .22-caliber rifle at about 8 a.m. on a hill about 100 yards north of the Cudigans' home in Lakeside's Lakeview neighborhood, Goodrich said.

The three 13-year-olds, who were not identified, were taken to the Santee sheriff's station, where they admitted that they had been target shooting with the rifle. The youths were released to their parents.

Lynn Juarez, director of the Ha Hana Christian Preschool, which is about 50 yards from where the teen-agers were shooting, said she heard several gunshots between 8 and 8:30, just before the school's children were getting ready to go outside.

Juarez said that the children were told about the shooting because they had frequently visited the Cudigans.

"The children are very close to the elderly residents in the area, and make cards and pictures to give to them," Juarez said. "They used to go over there to listen to stories from Mr. Cudigan about the foxes that live in the canyon. Just last week the children went over there to give them a cherry tart for Valentine's."

Juarez said people often use the large open field for target practice.

"You hear shots but you don't know how close they are or where they are coming from because of the echoes in the canyon," she said.

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