A 45-year-old Umatilla man was charged Thursday with using a .22-caliber pistol to shoot a stranger inside a Richland grocery store.
Matthew D. McQuin shot Jenna Kline in the head in “a substantial step” toward murder, court documents said.
Kline, a 33-year-old veterinarian, was a customer at WinCo Foods when McQuin approached her Monday evening and fired once, according to investigators.
The gun appeared to jam on McQuin’s first attempt to fire it, said investigators.
After firing the round, he placed his pistol on a checkout stand and sat down on a bench until officers arrived, documents said. McQuin cooperated with Richland police inside the store at George Washington Way and Columbia Point Drive.
Investigators said there is no evidence that Kline and McQuin know each other. He told authorities that he thought she was part of a group out to get him.
Kline who lives in Richland was treated at Kadlec Regional Medical Center and released later that night. She reportedly still needs surgery for the bullet in her head.
McQuin had been expected to appear in Benton County Superior Court on Thursday morning, but the hearing was canceled because he hadn’t yet been charged.
A couple hours later, Prosecutor Andy Miller filed documents charging McQuin with attempted first-degree murder.
The charge includes the allegation that McQuin was armed with a Ruger pistol when he committed the crime. The enhancement could bring additional time for a prison sentence if convicted.
McQuin now is set for arraignment Aug. 9.
He is locked up in the Benton County jail on $500,000.