Investigation continues into death of Homosassa woman

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the Nov. 21 shooting death of a Homosassa woman, possibly by an apparently errant bullet from an unknown shooter near her home.

Deputies were called to her home on Nov. 21 at 6143 W Wayward Wind Loop after the shooting, the Sheriff’s Office said on Friday.

Upon arrival, deputies noticed 58-year-old Sandra Ryder laying on the ground with an apparent head injury. Deputies quickly started cardiopulmonary resuscitation until emergency medical services arrived. Upon their arrival, Mrs. Ryder was pronounced deceased at 12:55 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes detectives and victims’ advocates were then called to the scene.

In the time that followed, the CCSO said, deputies spoke with Mrs. Ryder’s husband who told him he and his wife had gone out to the front of their shed to put a tarp on a generator. He that as they finished putting the tarp on, they began to hear gunshots in the distance. Mr. Ryder told deputies that he then heard another gunshot, and saw his wife fall to the ground.

After securing the immediate area, Major Crimes detectives set up a search perimeter.  The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, Aviation Unit and other sworn members were deployed to the scene to search for possible suspects and further evidence. During the investigation, it was discovered that several residents in the area had also heard what they believed to be gunfire, and pointed out a possible residence in proximity of this incident where they believe the gunfire originated.

Detectives made contact with a group of juveniles at this residence, who were then questioned. It was later determined that five juveniles were shooting in the wooded area behind the Ryder’s residence. Firearmsm as well as several spent ammunition cartridges were collected for evidentiary processing.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating this incident and processing evidence for forensic testing. No arrests have been made. and no charges have been filed at this time.

“The circumstances surrounding this case are inconceivable,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “Just the day before Thanksgiving, a woman, a mother and a loving wife lost her life due to the negligence of others. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ryder family as we continue this investigation.”

 

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