Shooter unknown after stray bullet kills Homosassa woman

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A Homosassa neighborhood is searching for answers after a neighbor was killed by a stray bullet while working in her front yard with her husband.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office said 58-year-old Sandra Ryder was hit by a bullet that seemed to have come from shots fired from the empty land behind the couple's home. The bullet hit Ryder in the head, killing her just one day before Thanksgiving. 

Neighbors said they remember hearing gunshots that day.  

"My windows were open, and I heard about six to eight shots ring out and then I heard someone yell for help," said Deboraah Leclair, a nearby neighbor.

Ryder's husband, John also told authorities he heard numerous gunshots that sounded very close to his house.

Detectives said the incident is likely due to the negligent use of a firearm and was most likely an accident. However, for the quiet neighborhood on West Wayward Wind Loop, the tragedy is concerning. 

"We've never had this in our neighborhood before because it's very quiet back here. I used to feel safe," said Leclair. "If they could hit one person, they could hit my grandchildren. It's scary."

Residents said it's not uncommon to hear gunshots during the evening hours due to a coyote pack that roams the area. However, to hear shots in the middle of the day is a rarity.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the incident as they have yet to find the person responsible. If you have any information about the case, you're being asked to call the CCSO directly.