MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. – A man awoke in the middle of the night thinking an intruder was in the house and accidentally shot and killed his pregnant wife, investigators said.
Martin County deputies were called to the house around 1:30 a.m. and found the woman, who was six months pregnant, injured from a gunshot wound.
She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. Doctors were able to save the unborn baby.
A 2-year-old child was also in the house at the time of the shooting. That child was not injured.
Investigators did not release the couple’s identity, citing Marsy’s Law, a state law designed to protect victims of crime.
“He gave us a pretty in depth statement, in which he said that he awoke in the middle of the night, thought he heard somebody in the house, went to investigate with a handgun, saw a shape in the hallway and fired one round and unfortunately, it turned out to be his wife,” Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told WPBF.
The couple had a good relationship and there is no indication of foul play. The Sheriff’s Office has no record for calls of service to the house. It appears to be a tragic accident, investigators said.
“This is a nightmare case,” said Snyder. “You know somebody who thinks he’s defending his home, actually shoots his wife.”
However, deputies are still conducting the investigation as they normally would.
“So, though we do have a good statement from him, we don’t take anything to face value and we’ll continue investigating through all backgrounds; there’s a lot of investigative steps that we’ll have to do to make sure that he’s telling the truth,” Snyder said.
Snyder warned gun owners to make safe decisions with their firearms.
“When you have a home where you have family members, you have to be even more careful and wait that extra second and do everything you can to make sure you know what you’re dealing with when you’re about to use deadly force,” Snyder said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.