Michigan police: Woman killed by stray bullet in Riley Twp. while neighbor was target shooting

Case remains under investigation

RILEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 21-year-old man could face charges in the death of his neighbor after she was struck by a stray bullet Sunday in Riley Township while he was practicing shooting.

Shirley Pfeil, 73, was rushed to the hospital after she struck by a bullet while in her own kitchen.

The shooting happened at about 12:45 p.m. in the 13000 block of Dunn Road.

Authorities said the man was target shooting at a berm on his property when a stray bullet hit Pfeil.

Pfeil's husband was in the kitchen when he heard a "loud crack and his wife collapsed to the floor," according to Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser. 

ORIGINAL REPORT: Woman dies after being struck by stray bullet in Riley Township, police say

"This is a reminder that when you're target shooting, even if doing so legally, you need to be aware of your backstop and what is behind your backstop and where that bullet could potentially travel," Kaiser said.

Pfeil was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Michigan State Police are working on the case. Investigators said the man is cooperating and "is devastated."

Investigators are looking at a weapon with a long range, specifically something longer than a .22 caliber, which has a range of a mile and a half. The man's gun was seized as the investigation continues.

State police will forward their investigation to the St. Clair County prosecutor who will determine if any charges will be filed, which could include reckless discharge of a firearm causing death. Lt. Dave Kaiser says target practice isn't illegal or uncommon in the area, but people must make sure they're shooting in a safe direction.

RELATED: Understanding Michigan's gun laws -- not as straightforward as you might think

Riley Township is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northeast of Detroit.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates. 

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.