A South Carolina man said he was cleaning his shotgun when he accidentally shot and killed his wife.

Dean Pennington, of Gaffney, said he was caring for his 12-gauge shotgun when it accidentally discharged, shooting 59-year-old Rita Pennington in the head.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said autopsy results and other evidence would be considered before prosecutors decide whether to charge Pennington in his wife’s death.

[Image: A smoking 12 bore shotgun having ejected spent a cartridge by Max Earey via Shutterstock]