An Ash Flat, Ark., woman is in stable condition at a Springfield, Mo., hospital after an unknown assailant shot her in the head inside her home.
Priscilla Partridge, 45, returned to her home, apartment 2 at Foxfire Apartments, just before 9 p.m. Dec. 11 after staying the previous night with a friend, Sharp County, Ark., Sheriff Dale Weaver said. The two had planned to go shopping at Wal-Mart, but before they went Partridge wanted to stop by her home to get something. Her friend waited in the car, Weaver said.
About 10 minutes later Partridge began flashing the porch light and crawled out the front door to a neighboring apartment bloody and traumatized, Weaver said. The neighbor called 911.
Partridge was shot at least once in the head from close range, criminal investigator Sgt. David Huffmaster said. Police were unable to tell if she had been shot more than once because of the injuries Partridge sustained from the bullet fragments, he said.
Partridge was able to speak to police at the scene and told authorities she did not know her assailant, Weaver said. No one reported seeing a suspect flee the scene, Huffmaster said.
"We've talked to a bunch of folks and were trying to see what we can find out," Huffmaster said.
Partridge lived alone, Huffmaster said. Police said they know of no conflicts she had with others. There were no signs of forced entry and robbery is not suspected, he said. Ash Flat Police Chief Mike Zeiger said he thinks the shooting was an isolated incident.
"We probably would have been able to tell right away if robbery or theft had been a motive," Huffmaster said. "Right now, we don't think it was a motive. We're looking at two or three different avenues on this."
Partridge is undergoing treatment at St. John's Regional Health Center and is unable to speak to authorities, Huffmaster said.
"She is still alive but she's on a ventilator," Zeiger said.
Police are not releasing more details of the crime to allow the sheriff's office and the Ash Flat Police Department to further investigate the shooting, Huffmaster said.
Zeiger said local residents are urged to lock their doors and vehicles and to call authorities to report any unusual vehicles, behavior or occurrences in the area. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to contact the Ash Flat Police Department at 994-3061 or the sheriff's office at 994-7356.
The last shooting in Ash Flat was almost 18 years ago when Terry and Kathy Watts were murdered in their home Dec. 31, 1986. Both died after they were shot twice with a shotgun. County authorities began working on the case again in recent years and suspects have been identified, although no arrests have been made, Weaver said.