Coroner tells why a woman may have been killed by a stray bullet
A 75-year-old woman found shot dead late Saturday may have been struck by a stray bullet from a homicide earlier in the day.
At about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Ann Kathleen Leonard was found dead in her home at 2032 Vining Circle, just off Pio Nono Avenue near Saleems Fish Supreme. Her home is adjacent to Mason Street, where a man was found shot dead in the street at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Sgt. Clay Williams, spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said Sunday that investigators are looking into whether Leonard was struck by a stray bullet from the Mason Street shooting but haven't confirmed it.
Leonard was found lying in her kitchen with a gunshot wound to her chest. There was a bullet hole in the rear window of her house. She was found after a request was made for deputies to check on her. Her home is roughly 300 yards from the location of the Mason Street homicide. The north end of Mason Street is adjacent to the back of Leonard's home.
"It’s bad to get killed but it’s worse to get killed in your own house minding your own business," Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said as he stood outside Leonard's home Sunday.
He said he knew Leonard and that she was a physical education teacher at Brookdale Elementary.
"She was a good person," he said.
Leonard's death made three homicides Saturday. A man was also shot dead at about 1 a.m. on Berkner Avenue. Jones said that makes 12 homicides in Bibb for the year, which is ahead of the pace of last year's 30 homicides.
Jones said he grew up on Mason Street.
"We didn’t have all this stuff when I was raised up on this street," he said. "I know times is changing and everything but this is a terrible tragedy. This was basically a good community."
Williams said Leonard was last heard from about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Her brother called after he had not heard from her and asked deputies to check on her and that's when she was found dead at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Jones said the condition of Leonard's body was consistent with having been dead since the time of the Mason Street shooting. Jones said Leonard was standing in her kitchen when she was shot. He said the bullet went through the car port and through the kitchen window in the back of her house.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 478-751 -7500, or Macon Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.