Bonney Lake woman hit by stray bullet fired at fleeing car thief
Linda Green was unfailingly generous, those who knew her said, and she loved purple. Outside her Bonney Lake home, there are touches of the color everywhere: purple in the sand in her garden, purple flower baskets, her purple sedan, even the drapes that cover her bedroom window.
It was in that bedroom that Green, 61, was found dead after a bullet pierced her window and hit her in the head.
“She’s gone now,” son-in-law Paul Culp said through tears Friday. “She was a loving woman. She’d help anybody in the world. Any time someone was down or needed help with paying a bill or getting a ride to work or anything, she was there to help. Or if they needed food she’d give her last loaf of bread.”
This story began late Thursday night when deputies received multiple calls from people who said they heard at least 10 gunshots in the Prairie Ridge neighborhood, according to information from the sheriff’s department.
The shots came from a house on Prairie Ridge Drive East, where a woman had called 911 to report her son’s Jeep was stolen. She said he fired shots from a handgun before chasing after the car. Sheriff’s deputies found a dozen spent casings on the home’s front porch.
Next door neighbor Bob Rowsey, 73, walked across his property on Friday afternoon pointing out where bullets had pierced or ricocheted off his fence and his home. One bullet pierced his home and a brown curtain inside and came to rest in his living room. Others splintered his fence or the siding on his house.
In tears, he remembered the woman he had lived next to since June 2015, when he moved into the neighborhood.
“She loved purple flowers,” he said.
Crime isn’t high in the community, he said, but once when he left his car unlocked in the driveway, a GPS unit was stolen out of it, he said.
Destiney Myers, 24, said she and her husband have had their cars broken into or rifled through three times and installed a security camera that keeps vigil over their driveway. The camera wasn’t pointed the right way to catch the scene as the Jeep flew down the street and her across-the-street neighbor drew his gun and shot after the car thief.
But her children’s rooms face the street on the first floor, she said. If her neighbor had started firing sooner, it could have been one of them.
After the gunshots, she said, “we looked outside, and we saw the neighbor across the street standing on his porch” as the Jeep sped off down the street, Myers said.
“It’s just really sad that this is what happened. I think he got fed up with the amount of car break-ins we have around here,” she said. “It’s super sad. You’re not even safe in your own home and that sucks ... he honestly, I think, was just trying to scare them. But it was not OK, at all.”
The man’s car was found at 3:40 a.m. in a cul-de-sac about a mile from the home where it was stolen. The Jeep had at least one bullet hole in the back window. Deputies don’t know if the suspect was hit.
The 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault and has been cooperative with deputies, according to detective Sgt. Gary Sanders.
Family, neighbors and friends tearfully remembered the friendly, neighborly Green on Friday.
She was friendly, they said, and hard to miss with her purple hair and accessories. She had lost a leg to diabetes, but didn’t let that stop her from enjoying life and from going out of her way to help people she cared about, including driving her brother to and from his chemotherapy appointments.
She loved the casino, and she loved her family, Culp said. He called Green “mom” and lived with her, taking care of her after she lost the leg, even though he and Green’s daughter are divorced. The two were close, and she guided him through tough times in life, Culp said.
Green preached the importance of living life to the fullest and taking advantage of each day, Culp said. It was something she taught him, as well as her biological and stepchildren, grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Culp is angry, too, at the neighbor who shot recklessly at his stolen Jeep as it roared away down the street.
“He took a lot away from our family,” he said.