Woman Accused of Shooting Neighbor Over Driveway Rights

A De Luz woman was arrested after investigators say she shot her neighbor in a dispute over their shared driveway.

The altercation started when Thomas Wessels, 65, and his wife tried to drive onto their property near 42200 Tenaja Truck Trail, a remote part of Fallbrook, on Friday.

The couple was stopped by their neighbor, 63-year-old Alyce Copeland, who was sitting in a chair to block their way, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. She sat down on the easement used by her and the Wessels to get to their homes.

Investigators say the Wessels and Copeland have had an ongoing dispute over who has the right of way on the road, and a civil case involving both parties is pending.

After they parked their vehicle, the Wessels confronted Copeland to ask why she blocked the road. According to detectives, Copeland reached into her waistband and pulled out a handgun after a short conversation.

Copeland allegedly fired one shot at Thomas, striking him in his abdomen. Before another shot went off, Thomas wrestled the gun from Copeland and hit her in the head with the butt of the firearm, investigators say.

Thomas’ wife then drove him to the hospital, where he received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

Copeland went to the hospital for minor head injuries, and deputies have since booked her into Las Colinas Detention Facility on attempted murder charges. Her arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.

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