Colo. woman Zoey Ripple shot by homeowner, faces trespassing charge

Zoey Ripple
Zoey Ripple

(CBS/AP) BOULDER, Colo. - A 21-year-old woman who was shot in the hip by a Colorado homeowner after police said she drunkenly wandered into a house now faces a felony trespassing charge, prosecutors said.

Zoey Ripple, who graduated from the University of Colorado earlier this month, entered a couple's Boulder home through an unlocked door around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Ripple apparently ignored warnings from the couple that they had a gun and walked into their bedroom. Homeowner Timothy Justice fired one shot in the darkness, police said.

When Justice and his wife switched on the lights, they saw Ripple on the floor with a gunshot wound. They later told police they did not recognize her as anyone they knew.

"We were screaming at her.but she kept coming in the bedroom and we shot her," Justice's wife, Doreen Orion, told a dispatcher in a 911 call. "She's in the house now. She's awake. She's fine, but she's shot."

Officials said preliminary tests showed that Ripple's blood alcohol content was above 0.2 at the time of the incident. Ripple was hospitalized with a fractured hip but has been released and is able to walk, defense attorney Colette Cribari said Saturday.

Cribari said the incident was "out of character" for Ripple, who has volunteered in soup kitchens in Boulder County, helped organize a campus coat drive last winter and spent the summer of 2010 teaching English to children in Guatemala.

"She didn't enter the house with any intent of committing a crime or harming anyone," Cribari said. "We're thankful she was not killed or more seriously hurt, but we're disappointed they decided to file charges on top of all this."

Prosecutors will likely file the charge against Ripple next week, The Daily Camera reported. They don't plan to file charges against Justice - Colorado law allows residents to use deadly force against trespassers who intend to use force.