A woman in Arizona has told police that she accidentally killed her husband with his own shotgun after he insisted that she pick it up even though she told him she was uncomfortable around guns.


The Daily Courier reported that Prescott Valley police responded to reports of a shooting on Gentle Winds Road Monday afternoon, where 56-year-old Gary Wingate was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement, the Prescott Valley Police Department said that Wingate's 54-year-old wife had not been comfortable around firearms, but he asked her to pick up his 12-guage shotgun and hand it to him anyway. The weapon discharged while she was in the process of handing it to him, striking him in the upper torso.

"It seems like they meant to take [the shotgun] out this weekend on a trip and he wanted her to get more familiar with it," Sgt. Brandon Bonney explained.

Bonney said that the shooting appeared to be accidental, but police were treating it as a homicide. The Yavapai County Medical Examiner was expected to determine a cause of death, and then investigators will forward the case to the Yavapai County Attorney's Office to determine if charges will be filed.

The police sergeant noted that Prescott Valley had seen a number of unfortunate accidental shootings in recent months.

Earlier this year, a 4-year-old accidentally shot and killed his 35-year-old father, an Iraq war veteran, in Prescott Valley. And two other people accidentally shot themselves while cleaning their firearms.

"It's important to remember that you should never point a weapon at something if you're not willing to destroy it," Bonney warned. "And treat every weapon as if it was loaded."

[Photo credit: Teenage woman holding a shotgun via Shutterstock)]