CEDAR FALLS | A University of Northern Iowa professor was shot in the face while driving with her family through Ohio during Thanksgiving break.

Julie Husband, associate professor and interim head of UNI’s department of languages and literatures, was struck in the jaw by a slug from a 12-gauge shotgun just outside of Toledo Sunday.

The Ohio State Patrol is still investigating who might have fired the gun.

Husband is expected to make a full recovery. The slug, typically used for hunting large game, broke her jaw.

Doctors at Toledo Hospital surgically removed the mass of metal, and her jaw will be wired shut for the next four to six weeks.

“I thought I had been shot and at first I thought it might be intentional,” Husband wrote in an email.

She said the incident triggered the memory of a TV special on the JFK assassination she had watched earlier. “I thought it might be someone trying some sort of copy-cat shot.”

Her spouse, Jim O’Loughlin, was driving their 2012 Toyota Prius on the Ohio Turnpike about 20 miles outside of Toledo when the slug shattered the passenger window, striking Husband in her right jaw. Her three children, ages 7 to 15, were in the backseat at the time.

“It’s a trip we’ve done a dozen times,” O’Loughlin said. The family was on its way to visit Husband’s family in Rochester, N.Y.

“We immediately came to a stop, and we didn’t know at the time what it was. ... There was just broken glass and blood,” he added.

Ohio State Trooper Dwayne Dotson responded to the incident.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this happen,” said Dotson, a 26-year veteran.

Dotson said the shot came from the outside the car. The family was traveling on a rural route along a partially open field.

O’Loughlin said the person who fired the gun probably did not know the fate of their shot since medical staff determined it was at the end of its trajectory.

“That person could have been half a mile away,” he said.

The couple suspect a young person may be at fault since Sunday was the last day of youth deer gun season in Ohio.

From Nov. 23 to 24, hunters 17 years old or younger are allowed to hunt. They must have a youth hunting license, a youth deer permit and must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult .

“If you take a whole lot of guns, loosely regulate them and have this two-day season where children are firing a lot of weapons, this kind of incident is predictable,” O’Loughlin said.

CORRECTION ADDED (12/4): The original version of this story misspelled the first name of the Ohio state trooper quoted. His name is Dwayne Dotson. This has been corrected in the story.

Cedar Falls/UNI education reporter for the Courier

(25) comments


So first it was a flashback to JFK, then it's a problem with the 2nd Amendment? Hmmm. Do you think these two UNI professors are using this as an opportunity to push a liberal agenda? I just feel bad for their three kids, all sitting in the backseat of a Prius from Cedar Falls to Rochester NY. The good news is that NY has much tighter gun laws and they sure do have lots and lots of Liberals so a relocation to NY would save a lot of miles on the Prius.


And you're NOT pushing the NARA agenda yourself, are you?


He doesn't even mention the second amendment. And what precisely does he say that's wrong?

This is pretty clearly a missed shot from an inexperienced young hunter. It sounds to me like this guy was not only shooting too close to a road while having no idea what was behind his shot, but was also probably shooting above level to get that kind of trajectory on a slug. We have four or five shootings in a 10 day deer season every year in Iowa, which is why I choose to go out of state to hunt where the deer are smaller, but there is a lower density of hunters, in part because there is a long season so you don't have 10000 people going crazy to get their buck in 2 days. I'm guessing Ohio is more or less like Iowa where any idiot without a criminal record can get a hunting license after taking a short hunter safety class that doesn't include any demonstration of ability to actually shoot anything. When I did the Iowa class, the only hands on component was that you could load or unload a shotgun and handle it for about 30 seconds without pointing it at the instructor.


Bassopotamus: Here's the 2nd Amendment slam: "If you take a whole lot of guns, loosely regulate them". Enjoy your time in the field. I'll be out picking up a freezer full this weekend.


I have been at UNI since 2009 as an undergraduate and a graduate student. During my time here I've had Dr. O'Loughlin and Dr. Husband for multiple classes. Never once have either of them spoken about their political ideology during their classes. To say that they are trying to push a liberal agenda after a accident like this is infuriating. This story is just about what happened to a very well respected and important Professor to our University.


It doesn't take much of a interaction with Dr. O'Loughlin to realize he is a through-and-through Lib.


Absolutely! Well said.


b786alo is right. Getting shot while driving on a freeway is no reason to complain.


jjd....it's no reason to complain about the current gun laws. Now if you want to find the perpetrator and prosecute them for not following current laws...that seems to be a more useful action plan. More people haves been injured and killed in deer/car collisions over than have been injured by an errant deer slug....yet we aren't encasing the freeways in 8ft tall fencing. Every minute of every day carries risks and as unfortunate as it sounds...bad things happen to good people and no set of laws can make us 100% safe.

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Translation: deal with it, libruls! Guns are here to stay!


'If you take a whole lot of guns, loosely regulate them and have this 2 day season where children are firing alot of weapons, this kind of incident is predictable" O"Loughlin said.
Well this is quite clear from someone is clearly against guns and hunting. Lets check some facts, the youth must pass a hunter safety class and hunt with a adult. According to the Ohio DNR there is aprroximatily 19000 youth hunters, and Ohio is 40948sq. miles, that is just under 2 hunters per sq. mile. They took 6645 deer in the 2 days. That means there were fewer deer to run out onto the highway and could come flying thur the windschield and be an ACCIDENT.

by the way reojoe what is NARA?


National Assault Rifle Association.


Some of you don't know Jim. He has a sense of humor, and he is shifting blame away from the shooter and onto the fact that yes, youth hunting season is probably the time of year that someone would get randomly shot. There are a lot more direct ways to use a major injury and setback to their family than to use satire, but Jim didn't choose to do this. Also b786alo are you like this in real life, because your mom getting shot in her face in front of you is not worse than driving in a Prius.


brookshanes: Youth hunting season is not the time of year that people get randomly shot. Please use some logic, a bit of research and a dose of common sense. There have been more people injured in shootings in Waterloo in the past month than have been shot during the OH Youth Deer Season. We won't even get into the number of people that have been injured in random shootings in Chicago in the past few weeks. As for the typo....I liked your first iteration better.


my typo: 'is a LOT worse,' not 'not worse'


A perfect example of a liberal against guns and hunting. Fact according to Ohio DNR the were about 19000 youth hunters and Ohio is a little over 40000sq.miles, that's about 2 hunters per sq.mile. They took about 6600 deer., that now will not be roaming around on the highways. There are thousands of irresponsible deer running crazy all over. The damage and possible personal injury to the whole family from hitting deer in something as small as a Prius could have been really tragic,


Nothing more entertaining than reading spiteful comments from country clubbers, having everything fed to them of what to say from the NARA, trying to speak like they understand guns. You don't.

Us working class folks grew up with guns and have used them our whole lives. never met a country clubber yet who owned a gun or hunted.

So, find someone else to hate,a side from this poor family who were victims of an accident.


My thoughts are with the family. Dr. Husband was on my thesis committee when I was a graduate student, and her guidance was invaluable. I can't even imagine the horror of being shot while riding in a vehicle... or watching your mother be shot while you are in the back seat. That's a memory they will have forever. The two professors are some of the nicest people I ever met, and they hardly deserved this.
I can echo what Zach87 said... they never did push an agenda of any kind in their classes. They're reeling from the shock of a terrible incident, and their comments should be read as such.
I'm glad Dr. Husband survived this. An inch or so off, and we may have lost her


My thoughts are with the family in this difficult time. I favor hunting, but I against poorly trained hunters who shoot people who are driving on I-80. And I am so saddened that a woman in our community was shot in the face while her children watched. To mock their choice of car, or to imply some 2nd amendment argument is cruel and indecent. Fortunately the majority of comments here reflect the moderation of Prof. O'loughlin, who was speaking under immense personal strain.


Well said. Yes, when the 2nd Amendment is involved, it's guns first and human tragedy second.

Comment deleted.

Effective at up to 200 yds, depending on the shell/load. However, danger zone can extend up to 1000.

Good luck finding the kid.

Comment deleted.

Thanks for proving my point that country club republicans have never hunted a day in their lives. They are only instructed to parrot the "arguments" of the NARA, and that's about all that they can tell you about hunting and guns.

To answer your question: there's also a little something that us hunters know of as "public land," where hunters can also hunt. ;)

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