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RR mom’s shooting may have been accident

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — A 29-year-old woman was fatally shot in the face by her 34-year-old brother last week, according to Rio Rancho police, who said it may have been an accident.

Chelsea Goupil of Rio Rancho was shot Dec. 23 with a small-caliber handgun, according to Lt. Matt Ross. The department has not released the name of Goupil’s brother because no charges have been filed against him.

Rio Rancho officers were dispatched around 9:30 p.m. to a home in the 300 block of Aldaba Circle, near Idalia and Unser, in response to reports of a shooting. Ross said that officers interviewed people who were in the home at the time and that the preliminary investigation determined that the shooting “might possibly have been accidental.”

“The investigation is leaning that way,” Ross said Tuesday.

He said that officers found no indication alcohol was involved and that the scene was processed for evidence using a search warrant.

“At this time, no evidence or statements provide probable cause that articulates criminal intent for immediate charges to be filed,” Ross said in an email.

He said in an interview that the weapon fired while it was being “shown to someone.”

A GoFundMe page set up to help cover Goupil’s funeral expenses describes the mother of two as a kind person who went out of her way to help her friends, family and co-workers. She worked at Target and was a member of a bowling league.

Jon Winter II went to high school with Goupil in Paso Robles, Calif., and the two stayed close afterward. Winter said she messaged him the day before her death to wish his son a happy birthday.

“There are a million things I can say: She was very comforting, easy to talk to, always there for me when I was going through tough times,” he said. “An all-around great woman.”

He said she was a devoted parent whose life revolved around her 3- and 7-year-old sons.

“I know she adored her boys,” he said. “She was a great mother to them.”

He said he spent lots of time at Goupil’s home throughout high school, hanging out with her and her older brothers.

“That whole family just loved each other so much,” he said.

He said the news left him in shock, and he knows there will be times when he will come upon a moment or a story and wish that Goupil were there to share it with.

“There will always be a void,” he said.

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