Woman In Starbucks Drops Purse With Forgotten Gun Inside, Shoots Friend In The Leg: St. Pete Police

Woman In Starbucks Drops Purse, Gun Inside Shoots Her Friend

A Florida woman accidentally shot her friend in the leg while waiting in line at a Starbucks on Saturday.

Police say Pamela Beck and Amie Peterson were getting coffee at the Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg when Beck moved to set her bags down in order to pay for her drink.

Her purse "hit the ground hard," St. Petersburg Police spokesman Mike Puetz told The Huffington Post, and a fully loaded .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun that was in the bottom of the handbag fired, striking Peterson above the knee.

Beck told investigators that her father had given her the gun about a year ago, and she hadn't intended to bring it out in public. "She had forgotten about it," Puetz said.

Beck does not have a concealed carry weapons permit, according to police, and the case has been referred to prosecutors.

Peterson was treated and released at a nearby trauma center. Other victims of recent accidental shootings have not been so fortunate: this month a three-year-old boy in Tampa fatally shot himself after finding his uncle's gun in a bedroom, a 2-year-old Kentucky girl died after being accidentally shot by her brother, and a six-year-old girl was critically wounded outside Fort Lauderdale after her brother found a handgun.

Strangely, the incident isn't the first time a gun has fired from inside a woman's purse at Starbucks. The Associated Press reported a 2011 incident in which an underaged girl, encouraged to carry a gun by her father, was cited after it fired inside her purse and narrowly missed customers.

Recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show almost seven people are wounded by gunfire every 60 minutes in the U.S.

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