Police: Woman shot while driving

2010-09-23T00:00:00Z Police: Woman shot while drivingBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
September 23, 2010 12:00 am  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Lake County authorities said Wednesday they are investigating who shot a Lakes of the Four Seasons woman in the head Monday night while she was driving on Randolph Street, north of Winfield.

County Chief of Police Marco Kuyachich said Wednesday the 53-year-old victim, Debbie Smith, has been admitted to Advocate Christ Medical Center of Oak Lawn, an Illinois-designated Level 1 trauma center, where she is being treated for a bullet that remains lodged in her head.

A hospital spokesperson said Wednesday the victim was in good condition.

Kuyachich said police have no one in custody and are unclear whether the shooting was an accident involving hunters or a random attack. He said police have increased police patrols in the area.

Kuyachich said the victim was driving north on Randolph Street about 11 p.m. Monday near 93rd Avenue when she heard a loud noise and felt something hit her in the upper left side of her head. She said she saw a black sports utility vehicle in the area, but wasn't clear whether the shot came from that direction.

The victim said she started to bleed from her head wound and immediately drove back to the Four Seasons' front gate for help.

A paramedic treated her for a minor cut and swelling on her head, but she refused further medical treatment at the time and said she would drive to a hospital later if needed.

County police searched the area for suspects, but found none.

Kuyachich said police learned Wednesday morning the victim was hospitalized and more seriously wounded that previously thought.

Detective Steve Carattini and Ed Jenkins, both with Lake County police, are investigating the case.

Merrillville police and the Porter County Sheriff are being asked to join the investigation on a report of a second shooting involving a man who reported he was shot with a pellet about one and a half miles from the Boone Grove School Administration Center minutes before the Randolph Street incident. The two areas are about seven miles apart.

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