Police in Detroit are still investigating a bizarre shooting that took place earlier this week in the home of UAW Vice President General Holiefield, which left his wife in serious condition after a gun he was cleaning went off and shot her in the stomach, CBS Detroit reports.
Holiefield’s wife, 50-year-old photographer Monica Morgan, is in serious condition following the incident, which happened Monday, and which investigators believe to have been an accident.
Lt. John Michalke told the news station that the 60-year-old Holiefield and his wife had just returned home from visiting an indoor shooting range earlier in the day with several other couples.
"They were sitting around the kitchen table and the homeowner was cleaning his gun. It’s a .45 caliber Desert Eagle semi-automatic handgun," Michalke told the news station. "While he was sitting at the kitchen table, he was showing the other persons in attendance how to clean the gun."
While demonstrating to the other guests the proper way to clean a gun, according to the police, Holiefield was unaware that the weapon still had one bullet in the chamber.
"At one point, he was trying to clear the gun, make sure the gun was clear of all ammunition, and it in fact had a round in it. He pulled the trigger, the gun discharged and a single round went across the room and struck his wife in the abdomen," Michalke said.
The police say that the bullet went through Morgan's abdomen and into the window blinds behind her.
Morgan was rushed to McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens. No other injuries were reported, CBS Detroit reports.
"She underwent surgery and she is expected to survive," Michalke said. But added, "We’re still investigating the matter … everybody has been cooperative and we feel we have an understanding on what occurred. But, the matter will routinely go to the prosecutor’s office for consideration of charges.”
Michalke believes that the incident could have been avoided had the gun been handled properly.
"Everybody should treat every gun as though it were loaded. Any time you handle a gun you have to consider the fact that it’s probably loaded or is loaded," he told the news station. "That would have prevented this incident."
Morgan is a prominent photographer who served as Rosa Parks' official photographer for many years and had recently returned from covering the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
Read more at CBS Detroit.