PORTLAND, Ore. - Leilina Chipen, a 17-year-old who was hit by a stray bullet that came through the wall of her apartment, knows she is lucky to be alive.
She's now recovering at home from a leg wound and talked to KATU about what happened Wednesday evening at her apartment complex in the 1200 block of Southeast 130th Avenue.
Chipen said at first she didn't know she had been hit by a bullet.
"I had a blanket over me and I took it off and there was blood," she said. "Then my neighbor who shot me on accident came over and called the ambulance."
Her brother and sister were sitting in the livingroom with her when it happened. They were all doing homework at the time.
Christopher Morris, 52, told police he was cleaning a lever-action rifle when the gun discharged, sending a bullet into a neighboring unit. The bullet went through a wall and a couch, hit Chipen's leg and then went through another wall.
Chipen knows how close she came to being hurt worse, or possibly killed, and wants to know how this could have happened.
"Why would you clean a gun that was loaded? Are you serious? He should know how to clean a gun if he owns a gun," she said.
Morris cooperated in the investigation and no charges have been filed at this time. However, the case has been forwarded to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office.
We tried to talk to Morris on Thursday but he did not answer the door when we knocked.
This isn't the first time this kind of shooting has happened - there were three similar incidents last month, two of them fatal:
- Oregon City - Shayla Shonneker, 9, was shot and killed in her back yard by a stray bullet. Her mother’s boyfriend was inside the home practicing drawing a gun when it fired, investigators said.
- Donald - Cody R. Hall, 4, died in a shooting at his home. A neighbor said the boy's father and uncle had returned from a fishing trip and a gun went off while they were unloading their gear.
- Troutdale - A man cleaning his gun in his apartment nearly shot a woman in the head when the gun went off and the bullet went through two other apartments.