updated 4/12/2007 2:34:00 PM ET 2007-04-12T18:34:00

A retired grade-school teacher was killed by an officer’s stray bullet during a standoff between her ex-husband and officers, authorities said.

Police said the deadly bullet apparently ricocheted off something before hitting the woman, Marilyn B. Stephens, 74, in the chest. The shooting took place at the home she apparently still shared with her ex-husband, Timothy P. Stephens, 55.

Police went to the home in this northwestern Indiana city on Tuesday to check reports that he was threatening her. After she opened the door, he came out waving a gun and threatening her and the officers, police said.

Police tried to move her away from the house. Officer Dan Koepke, who was behind a car in the driveway, fired twice toward the home, according to police.

A forensics team was investigating how the bullet struck Marilyn Stephens, who was not standing in its path, authorities said.

Investigators found evidence that a bullet also struck a vehicle in the driveway.

Timothy Stephens ducked back into the home unharmed and later surrendered, police said.

He was being held Thursday at Porter County Jail, booked on charges of domestic battery, criminal confinement and intimidation, said Porter County police spokesman Sgt. Timothy Emmons. Jail officials did not know Thursday whether he had an attorney.

Marilyn Stephens taught third grade in nearby Portage for 28 years before retiring in 1994.

“She was a very caring teacher and really worked well with her students,” former colleague Penny Rea said. “Even after she retired, she still substitute-taught. She wanted to go back and help the kids.”

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