NewsCitrus, Hernando County


Teenagers arrested after stray bullet hits, kills grandmother in Citrus County

Posted at 5:32 PM, Apr 05, 2019

HOMOSASSA, Fla. — The day before Thanksgiving in 2018, 58-year-old Sandra Ryder was working in her front yard with her husband when they heard gunshots in the distance. Seconds later, one hit Ryder in the head, killing her.

Now, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office says three teenagers — one 13-year-old and two 14-year-olds — have been arrested for her death. Detectives say the teenagers were shooting in a wooded area behind the victim's home. Firearms and several spent ammunition cartridges were collected from the area as evidence.

ORIGINAL STORY: Stray bullet kills grandmother outside her Citrus County home, investigators searching for shooter

The victim's husband, John Ryder, said they were outside putting a tarp on a generator around 12:30 p.m. that day when they heard what sounded like gunshots. He said he heard the final shot, then watched his wife fall to the ground.

When deputies arrived on the scene they began CPR, but Sandra was pronounced dead minutes later.

The teenagers have all been charged for the manslaughter of Sandra and for possession of a firearm by a minor.

“The loss of Sandra Ryder the day before Thanksgiving was devastating. Now, the futures of the three juveniles responsible for her death hang in the balance as prosecutors prepare to bring the case to court,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “Teenagers can be impulsive and reckless. Unfortunately, for these three, their careless actions took another person’s life and will carry harsher consequences. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of Mrs. Ryder.”

ABC Action News is not naming the minors due to their age.