By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
A dumb prank with a homemade cannon ball ended in tragedy on the early hours of Tuesday when a California man shot the deadly weapon into his own mobile home, killing his girlfriend and narrowly missing their four-year-old daughter.
Richard Dale Fox, 39, of Potrero near San Diego, California, has now been arrested and booked into county jail on suspicion of detonating an explosive device in a manner resulting in death, according to Fox5SanDiego.com.
The 38-year-old victim died of shrapnel wounds at the scene but her name has not yet been revealed pending notification to her family, said homicide Sgt. David Martinez, who explained that the motive is not yet clear.
“(It is) too early to say it was accidental,” he revealed, although the police suspect that he had been drinking.
The couple’s young child and three other adults were in the trailer when it was rocked by the homemade mortar, which was powered by explosive powder from fireworks, but they were all unharmed. The little girl has since been turned over to child protective services.
The blasted trailer was parked in a rocky spot surrounded by boulders in a rural area with dogs and sheep roaming the roads, close to the small town of Potrero, which is across the border from Tecate, Mexico, and less than 40 miles inland from San Diego.