Pennsylvania trooper fatally shoots pregnant wife in the head while cleaning his gun

JoAnna Miller shot by husband (WCAU)Raw Story – by David Edwards

Police believe that a Pennsylvania state trooper did not mean to shoot his pregnant wife to death when a gun that he was cleaning accidentally discharged.

According to WCAU, police responding to the East Norriton Township home at around 2:25 p.m. on Friday found 34-year-old JoAnna Miller with a gunshot wound to the head.

She was later pronounced dead after being transported to Mercy Suburban Hospital. Doctors attempted to perform an emergency cesarean, but the unborn child also died, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Miller was 22 weeks pregnant.  

“The baby never had its own breathing or heartbeat,” Montgomery County Coroner Walter Hofman explained.

The trooper, who has not been named, told police that he was cleaning his .45-caliber handgun when it discharged. He said that he did not realize the gun was loaded.

The couple also had two other children who were at home at the time of the shooting.

Investigations were being conducted by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the East Norriton Township Police Department. Autopsy results were expected on Monday.

Watch the video below from WCAU, broadcast March 10, 2013.

David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he’s also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.

13 thoughts on “Pennsylvania trooper fatally shoots pregnant wife in the head while cleaning his gun

  1. What a steaming crock. He killed his wife because he didn’t want to change diapers, and I’ll bet he recently bought her a brand new life insurance policy too. For the baby, of course.

    When I clean a gun it’s completely incapable of firing a bullet because it’s in pieces, so I’m always suspicious of these “gun cleaning” discharges.

    Unless someone can tell me how to clean a gun with a bullet in the chamber, I’m calling this a murder.

    1. Perhaps you have yet to own a handgun which requires that you pull the trigger in order to dis-assemble the firearm (thereby making it incapable of firing because it’s in pieces). Of course, one should always remove the magazine, clear the chamber of any cartridge, and then inspect to assure the firearm is unloaded and completely empty before starting dis-assembly.

  2. What do you expect when even hairstylists have more intensive training. How do you not know a gun is loaded? Final question is why any woman in their right mind would marry or even date a cop? What could they possibly add to somebody’s life besides yelling f#@king orders and feeling like everybody holds them in contempt, which they do.

  3. Well, just last year, the Washington Township (NH), police chief shot himself while cleaning his gun. It made all the local papers. And I met a guy last July who was missing a finger on his left hand. Turns out he shot himself while “cleaning his gun”. He was trying to buy some surplus ammo from me (at swap meet), it was a caliber I no longer needed. Needless to say, I refused to sell it to him. Unfortunately, the story above more than likely happened just the way it was told.

    1. Those people shot themselves. Hardly qualifies.

      On the other hand, had he shot himself in the head……..

      1. Just saying that discharges while “cleaning” happen… albeit to idiots, but they happen. I’m sure there are other instances of people shooting someone else while “cleaning” their firearm..

      2. Here are just several examples where some one else is the victim of the unintended discharge:
        Dec 31, 2013 – Man shoots wife while cleaning gun in home; May 15, 2013 – A Tennessee man is accused of shooting his 13-month-old baby girl Sunday night while cleaning a handgun at the family’s home; Mar 26, 2013 – A Florida man accidentally shot his wife while cleaning his pistol at their apartment; Jul 19, 2012 – Man shoots wife in the leg while cleaning gun; 2012 – Man shoots neighbor through duplex wall while cleaning gun

        1. Whatever.

          Being a scumbag cop, I’m definitely NOT going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

          I say he did it on purpose.

  4. I am by no means a firearm instructor but will take friends out with their new purchase after going thru some basics in safety,the first is a weapon is always to be treated as loaded even after I run thru basic firearm clearing steps.We try out new firearm in a fun/safe manner then I steer them towards a Appleseeds course or something similar in area.Folks,feel free to buy a firearm,just get the safety basics down first before anything else,including buying ammo ect.Firearms that may interest you probably has at least a few videos on basic safety including clearing that particular firearm,how to safely store/how to safely hand to another,for your safety and others please do this.I realize this is probably known to all readers on this board,but,just like assume a firearm is always loaded,assume for safety sake someone may not know.

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