A MAN trying to slaughter a cow accidentally wounded a woman passenger in a passing car, sparking a major police alert near Caboolture yesterday afternoon.
Teams of police in bulletproof vests rushed to the Beachmere property after the Brisbane woman, 46, was shot.
A police spokesman said a man was trying to shoot a cow with a high-calibre rifle, but missed.
The bullet travelled across the Hanson St property, just north of Brisbane, through a car yard and lodged in the left thigh of the woman in a moving vehicle on Beachmere Rd 200m away.
"It appears to be a freak accident with a one-in-a-million chance of actually happening," the police spokesman said.
The woman's husband, who was driving, pulled into a service station seconds after he realised his wife had been shot.
She was taken to Caboolture Hospital, then to Greenslopes Hospital in Brisbane, where she was in a stable condition last night.
Service station employee Vikki Burnett said the distressed man pulled up and asked her to call an ambulance.
The woman had her hand pressed to the wound, and said she could feel the bullet in her leg.
"She looked strangely calm, but there was a lot of blood," Ms Burnett said.
A man in his 50s was questioned by police. It is understood he will not be charged with any serious offences.
"This guy had no idea he had shot someone in the leg and was very upset when he realised what had happened," the police spokesman said.
He said the man was butchering the cow when police arrived.
A spokeswoman for the man's family said it was a freak accident.