A Denver-area woman died Tuesday night after an assault rifle she was handling accidentally fired and shot her in the head.
Witnesses told ABC Denver affiliate KMGH that Anastasia Adair, 22, was passing an assault rifle to her husband, Dana "Shane" Adair, when the gun went off. A second shot was fired when Anastasia fell and dropped the rifle, but no one was hit by it, two witnesses and the husband told police.
Shane Adair told police that the gun had a light trigger pull. Federal Heights Police Lt. Gary Toldness said that the fatal bullet's trajectory appeared consistent with the witness accounts of an accidental shooting. The investigation is continuing.
According to the Denver Post, the incident occurred while the couple and three housemates were drinking beer in their garage. Toldness told the Denver Post that the shooting will be treated as an accident, but authorities will investigate how much alcohol was in the victim's blood.
"It's not a good idea to be handling weapons while you're intoxicated," Toldness said. "It's always a bad mix."
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 606 people were killed by unintentional firearm injuries in the United States in 2010.
Additionally, the advocacy site quotes a 2001 study, "Firearm Availability and Unintentional Firearm Deaths," that maintains the following:
People of all age groups are significantly more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries when they live in states with more guns, relative to states with fewer guns. On average, states with the highest gun levels had nine times the rate of unintentional firearms deaths compared to states with the lowest gun levels.
The Adairs had purchased the assault weapon at a gun show in March, according to KMGH.
(Hat tip, Talking Points Memo)