Man who accidentally killed girlfriend with cannon awaits charges

POTRERO (CNS) – An 39-year-old man remains behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of firing a homemade cannon into his East County mobile home, fatally injuring his live-in girlfriend in front of the couple's 4-year-old daughter.

The 38-year-old victim, whose name was not immediately released, died of shrapnel wounds at the scene, sheriff's officials said. Her death in the 25000 block of Potrero Valley Road was reported just after midnight Tuesday.

Medics took the woman's boyfriend, Richard Dale Fox, to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego for treatment of leg injuries he suffered when the makeshift mortar went off.

After being treated, Fox was arrested and booked into county jail on suspicion of detonating an explosive device in a manner resulting in death, according to sheriff's Sgt. David Martinez.

The couple's child and three adults were in the trailer with the victim at the time of the fatal blast but were not harmed, Martinez said. The girl was turned over to child protective services personnel.

The suspect's motive for allegedly firing off the weapon in the direction of his residence was unclear, according to Martinez. Preliminary evidence suggested that Fox had been drinking, he said.

The sergeant said he did not have a detailed description of the homemade cannon, though he said the suspect apparently had used explosive powder from fireworks to shoot it. The type of projectile fired into the mobile home also was not immediately clear.

Categories: KUSI