Wednesday, June 27, 2001

NEWS - Woman's gunshot death at zoo remains mystery

Woman's gunshot death at zoo remains mystery
The Ventura County Star. CA
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING Mich. (AP) -- As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It's a tough case" Lansing Police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

White 41 a computer systems analyst filed for divorce a month ago but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

Seven hours after the slaying Saturday police informed Benita White 's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims 67 of Detroit went into cardiac arrest and died.

"She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it" Sims' husband Bennie Sims told WDIV-TV. "It killed her. It almost killed me."

The bullet which struck White in the heart and exited her side has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on its trajectory someone meant to shoot the woman he said.

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