A Massachusetts woman is facing a criminal charge after the gun she had stored in her purse accidentally went off while she was inside a Walmart store in Northborough on Monday.
The 31-year-old Worcester woman, identified as Crystaly Perez, is charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied building, Northborough police said.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Monday, police said they received a report of an accidental misfiring of a weapon at the Walmart at 200 Otis St. When they arrived, they determined that nobody had been hit and there were no injuries.
"Clearly, this incident could have been a lot worse," said Northboro Police Lt. Brian Griffin.
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The bullet was recovered from the floor of the store.
"The customers that were in there, when they heard the gun go off, they're thinking panic, 'What's going on here?'" Griffin said.
Perez said she accidentally fired her 9mm handgun while digging in her purse as she tried to check out. The gun, ammunition and purse were voluntarily surrendered to police and the licensing authority was notified for possible revocation.
"Somehow, her loaded firearm, which was inside the purse, discharged," Griffin said. "The bullet went through her purse and lodged in between the register and the floor."
Police said the appropriate state agency was also notified since the woman's toddler was with her when the gun went off.
"Clearly, it was a reckless act," Griffin said. "That firearm should have been in a holster, at the very least."