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URBANA — The combination of a slowing bullet and a thick blanket apparently saved an Urbana woman from grave injury.

The woman, in her mid-40s, was in her home in the 1200 block of Tremont Street about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday when a shot came through the front of her house, one of three homes in a row hit by gunfire from an unknown person.

“The call came from a woman who said she had been shot,” said Urbana police investigations Lt. Dave Smysor. “The bullet went through the front of the house. She had wrapped herself in a blanket, and there was a hole in the blanket, but the bullet had decelerated enough it didn’t cause her injury.

“They found it on the floor under the couch where she was sitting.”

Police found a total of six rounds at the three ranch homes.

The blanketed woman was in the middle house of the three, all on the same side of the east-west street. A vehicle in her driveway was also hit by gunfire.

“It’s hard to tell the intended target because nobody stuck around to tell us why they were shooting,” Smysor said.

The houses on either side of the blanketed woman’s house were occupied by just one woman each as well.

A house on one side sustained exterior damage to the corner while the house on the other side had a bullet penetrate the attached garage, bounce off the trunk of a car and lodge in a wall between the garage and the house. Neither of those rounds actually made it inside the living area of those homes, Smysor said.

Police ask that anyone who has information or surveillance video that might assist them to contact the department at 217-384-2320.

Smysor said a detective has been assigned to follow up on the patrol officers’ work.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).