Man Kills Girlfriend With Homemade Cannon

(Image credit: KGTV)

A woman was killed early this morning when a projectile from a homemade cannon allegedly fired by her boyfriend crashed into their mobile home in Potrero, Calif. , Richard Fox, the boyfriend, has since been arrested.

When authorities responded to a call for an explosion at about 12:15 a.m.,  in this mountain community  about 40 miles southeast of San Diego near the U.S.-Mexico border, they found an unusual scene.

"It looked like some type of cannon had been fired [toward] the exterior of a five-wheel trailer," California Fire Capt. Mike Mohler told "[The projectile] went through the trailer, striking a 33-year-old woman and killing her." (Later reports corrected her age; she is 38.)

The woman, whose name has not been released and was earlier reported as Fox's wife, was pronounced dead on the scene. Fox was treated for shrapnel wounds in his right leg at a hospital before being taken to jail.

It is not yet clear what Fox, 39, was doing with the cannon or if the shot was accidental. Mohler did not know the size of the cannon, but said it may have been some type of "homemade contraption."

The sheriff's department is handling the homicide investigation. Sheriff Sgt. David Martinez said authorities haven't determined a motive.

Three other adults and a 4-year-old girl were also in the home at the time.

When asked if he had ever encountered a similar situation, Mohler said, "I would say that if it wasn't the first, it hadn't happened in a long time."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.