Society

Pennsylvania Trooper Shoots Pregnant Wife While Cleaning Gun

| by Allison Geller

A Pennsylvania state trooper accidentally shot and killed his pregnant wife while cleaning his gun, which he did not realize was loaded.

The officer was taking apart his .45-caliber service weapon in the family’s home when he accidentally pulled the trigger, shooting his wife, JoAnne Miller, in the torso. Miller was rushed to the hospital, but neither she nor the fetus could be saved. At 22 weeks pregnant, her baby “never had its own breathing or heartbeat,” according to the coroner’s report.

The couple’s other two children were home at the time of the shooting. No one else was harmed.

Charges have not been filed against the officer, who reported the shooting himself.

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"He's been distraught, cooperative," said Montgomery County first assistant district attorney Kevin Steele.

Miller worked as a civilian dispatcher for the Pennsylvania State Police until he was laid off last year, according to neighbors.

"They were always together," a friend of the couple’s, Patty Evanik, told NBC 10. "Always spending time with the family. Always doing things with their kids. I'm very upset because they are good people."

A joint investigation by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and East Norriton Police continues.

Sources: Inquirer, NBC 10