Woman Shoots Herself In the Face With Shotgun

In Fremont Township, MI, a woman was “trying to make a point” and to help illustrate this point, she grabs a shotgun and slams the butt of the shotgun onto the ground. The shotgun fires and the blast catches her in the face.The woman was taken to St. Mary’s of Michigan in Saginaw and she is expected to make a full recovery.

Here is the article.

It concerns me the lack of firearm safety but also the safety of the shotgun. Aren’t shotguns tested in drop tests so something like this doesn’t happen? But there are variables that are not mentioned in the article. Which shotgun was it? How old is the shotgun? The mechanics inside could be worn and could be an explanation for the mis-fire.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • flyingburgers

    Drop safe and slam-on-ground-intentionally-safe are two different things. Drop safe means when the gun is dropped on its muzzle the movement of the firing pin will not cause a discharge. Long guns can meet this without further safety mechanisms so there’s no protection against intentional abuse.

  • bbmg

    Well, she certainly made a point.

  • M.M.D.C.

    “Aren’t shotguns tested in drop tests so something like this doesn’t happen?”

    It does seem unlikely, but this is a news report. These are the reporters who are always writing about guns “going off” as if on their own they decide to fire.

    Taking into account all the omissions and embellishments that could occur between the shooter’s testimony, the cops’ report and the reporter’s version of events, my guess is that someone or something pressed the trigger.

    • Zachary marrs

      Might have been a double barrel

  • Phillip Cooper

    What point was she trying to make?

    “I’m a feckin’ moron”?


  • ColaBox

    Id say at worst case it was an old Ithica without the disconnect and gravity pulled the trigger. But I find that highly unlikely.

  • gunslinger

    so you can shoot yourself in the face with a shotgun….humm….

  • Morgan

    I would like to see that drop repeated on film in safer circumstances. BUT, that serves her right for using a firearm to “prove a point”. I’m glad she’s making a full recovery though.

    • Mike

      Since they threw in the words full recovery, I’m inclined to believe it was just a graze and she’s more than lucky. No one takes a full blast, heck, even half blast to the face and fully recovers

  • She is extremely lucky. My father, a paramedic of many years, once tended a woman who’d tried to commit suicide with a shotgun under the chin. The result was the removal of her lower jaw and portion of her face. His best comment? “You never realize how long the human tongue is until you can see all of it at once.”

    • To Tin Fung

      holy shit.

    • True it can be a real anatomy lesson.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        An old friend of mine committed suicide several years ago by doing exactly the same thing — by placing the muzzle of a 12-gauge shotgun well under his chin and then pulling the trigger. His wife came home from work to find him dead, and with fragments of brain, bone, hair and tissue splattered all over the living room ceiling. One can only imagine the magnitude of shock and horror she must have experienced at the time.

        They had lost their previously-successful business due to the perfidy of a once-trusted partner ( aided by an unscrupulous lawyer ), and also lost their home when they could no longer pay the mortgage. They were both relatively young, and were very talented and capable people, so they would have been entirely able to overcome this admittedly major setback in time. It should not have driven him to suicide. No-one saw it coming, including me — and to this day it still haunts me. You may think that you know someone very, very well, yet you really never will, except in rare, special cases. One never knows what goes through a man’s mind.

        We laugh, we cry, we share, we rub shoulders under the sun and we may even have grown up together, yet we know so little about one another. We must — in spite of the demands of living in the present day and age — make more time for one another, otherwise we run the very real risk of not being in a position to possibly help save someone’s life while not destroying their personal dignity, and of living with regret.

        • hkryan

          In this day and age, people have less real friends than ever…

        • dan citizen


          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Thank you, Dan — that’s very kind of you.

    • John

      A trauma surgeon I know had to treat one of those too… his best comment was “I asked the EMTs how the heck they intubated the guy. They told me: we just looked for the bubbles”

      • billyoblivion

        We just looked for the bubbles.

        That’s awesome.

        No, that really is.

        Next time I need an EMT, I want those guys.

  • Pete

    As a retired police officer who has personally investigated incidents such as this, I can say that it is almost a 100% certainty that the victim is lying to cover for the person that shot her.

    • bbmg

      If the shot came from below into her chin then it would be hard to explain as somone else aiming it at her.

      • dan citizen

        I agree with you, it sounds like she was probably the one holding it… but she could have been on the ground, or they could have been struggling over the weapon.

      • noob

        maybe she’d been knocked to the ground and the shooter was standing at her feet?

    • Andrew

      This. Most likely a failed suicide attempt, due to the location of the gunshot. Seen plenty of people blow their chin off because they hesitated and jerked their head back while pulling the trigger. Now she’s too embarrassed to tell the truth, hence this fantastical story.

      • Cymond

        Except that the story that she was “trying to make a point” implies that she was speaking to people aka ‘witnesses’ who can verify or deny that this was an accident.

    • dan citizen

      or there was a raccoon on her head and he was trying to save her…..

  • Robert

    Her finger was on the trigger…

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    I might be wrong and apoligies if that is the case, but wasn’t there a big stink a couple of years ago about something to do with the safety of various Remington shotguns and rifles? it was something to do with them not being drop safe and that the safety catch only locks the trigger so does nothing to stop the sear from disengaging when dropped. I seem to remember the examplr tale that was told at the time was somebody who leant his shotgun up against a wall with the safety on, it fell over and shot him in the thigh (I assume he survived to tell the tale but not sure as it was a while ago).

    • Bill


    • Synchronizor

      You’re thinking of a couple TV specials NBC aired a few years back that were shameful sensationalist attack pieces based on nothing substantial. The single “expert” they interviewed has claimed that the same unproven faults exist in dozens of firearms from a number of brands. Why? Because he wants to sell a new trigger design he has patented.

      And the stories NBC rolled out were the flimsiest of anecdotes that were either disproven or baseless. In the story you’re thinking of, the kid claimed his shotgun was leaning up against his truck and then slid over and shot him. In reality, police investigations (which NBC conveniently left out) indicated that the moron actually had the loaded shotgun lying in the bed of his pickup truck, muzzle pointed at him, and that it went off when he grabbed it by the muzzle and dragged it toward himself.

      Now, it is true that the safety on the Remington common fire control (used in shotguns like the 870 & 1100) only immobilizes the trigger. However, the Remington CFC has what’s called a “balanced sear” – a sear that pivots in the center, and is evenly weighted about that point so that impacts or acceleration don’t impart a net torque. In addition, the sear is firmly held against the hammer by the sear spring when cocked, and the sear hooks into the hammer in such a way that the hammer spring also holds the two together. Even if the sear wasn’t balanced, it would take an extraordinary impact to dislodge it from this lockup. These features are inherent to the sear design, and work no matter what position the safety button is in.

      If you don’t want to take my word for it, watch this:

  • To Tin Fung

    i dont get it. prove what point?

    • Cymond

      I’m not sure, but I would guess that she was punctuating her sentences, like how some people will pound on a table, stomp, or wave their hands around.

      • Sulaco

        With a loaded gun? Why was it loaded and did she know that? Oh my!

        • Cymond

          Yeah, stuff happens. There’s a reason why we have Cooper’s 1rst Rule.
          My stepfather has a story from his youth about accidentally shooting a mirror while playing ‘quickdraw’ with a Ruger Single Six. He “knew” it was unloaded, but his wife loaded it while he was away on a trip and forgot to tell him.

          • Sulaco

            Similar story: brother officer in his “rookie” days was “breaking in” a new pistol holster got distracted and forgot he had reloaded it and did a “quick draw” on the TV. Killed it dead. Never lived it down and no chance of keeping it quiet as the local PD responded and took a report and their Sgt was good friends with our Sgt….

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            The embarrassment factor must have been very high indeed. I imagine he still takes a fair amount of good-natured ribbing about this from time to time

  • dan citizen

    I call shenanigans.

    “I slammed it down and it went off”
    “I was cleaning it and it went off”
    “I was just looking at it and it went off”
    “I didn’t even touch the trigger, and it went off”

    Probably a suicide attempt gone wrong, or a “warning shot”, or she was “making her point” by firing in the air.

    • Zachary marrs

      I remember back when the town I lived in tried to put up red light cameras, and suddenly lots of people started to clean loaded shotguns. Not an accident

      • dan citizen

        I have heard that read light camera suicide is rampant.

  • Bill

    If you take apart a shotgun, let’s say for example a Remington 870, you’ll see that there are no passive safeties as in a modern pistol. Nothing locks the firing pin, or the sear, and if the hammer is cocked with a round chambered, inertia can cause it to become “unhooked” if the gun is struck or dropped, resulting in the gun firing, whether the safety is on or off, or the trigger is touched. it has happened in law enforcement, which is why many cops are trained to not chamber a round until the gun needs to be fired. It isn’t common, but it’s common enough to keep in mind. I wouldn’t consider any shotgun with a cross-bolt safety that only blocks the rearward movement of the trigger to be drop-safe.

    • Synchronizor

      I can’t speak for all guns, but for the 870 and other firearms that share it’s trigger design, it is essentially impossible for the sear to disengage due to an impact (unless some moron has tried to do a kitchen “trigger job”). It doesn’t matter whether the safety is on or off.

      • John Shore

        I wish that you were right, but you aren’t. The Remington common fire control unit, that on the 870 and every other Remington using it (slide and semi-auto rifles, the 1100, everything with a removable trigger group) are known to NOT be ‘drop safe.’ Remington has, quietly, paid out a great deal of money to people for this reason. If a firearm does not have a positive lock on the firing pin when the gun is in battery and the striker/firing pin is free to move, and ESPECIALLY if the striker/spring or hammer is normally fully energized and held in check only by a sear, that gun isn’t ‘drop safe.’ In the case of the Remington CFC, the trigger safety has no hammer or firing-pin blocking capability whatsoever; The only firing-pin ‘safety’ is the few thousands of an inch of steel interface between the sear and hammer notch. A bit of congealed oil, or dirt, or corrosion, or wear, and that ‘safety’ is minimized.
        Regularly carrying an 870 with a chambered round is an invitation to disaster.

    • John

      Yeah, I believe the common method to carry shotguns are at cruiser ready (hammer down, empty chamber, action released, safety on or off depending on police dept) just charge the weapon and go.

      Cross bolt safeties are just not the greatest safeties in general. Hard to see, and not as positive as switch type safety you can flip (like say, an AK or AR)

      • Bill

        The Mossberg safety is the only one I’d consider actually usable in the field.
        Before airbags and MDTs, when it was common for shotguns to be racked vertically against dashboards, and even now, with some racked vertically between the front seats, cars would come in with blown out windshields or homemade sunroofs after chasing someone down a logging road or badly pot-holed street with a round in the chamber. Not often, but often enough to make Condition 3 pretty much the norm. That and the fact that racking the action is often faster than dithering with an essentially useless safety, which is doubly useless because the shooter’s finger shouldn’t be near the trigger until they’ve decided to fire anyway.

  • john huscio

    Darwin awards visit michigan..

    • Sez Eye

      Actually no, she is not dead, thus still in the gene pool. No Darwin award for her. Just “the dumbass of the day” award.

  • David Sharpe

    This is why safe direction is THE MOST important safety rule for guns.

  • big daddy

    She broke the first rule. Why do people not give guns the respect they deserve? The same with cars, why do people text or talk on the phone when they drive or worse DUI? What part of deadly don’t these people understand? Guns are not toys, they kill and maim. Is it society or genetics, nature or nurture or just plain being ignorant & stupid?

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    Some idiot shoots herself…good, better herself then someone else. dumbass.

  • Fruitbat44

    Oh dear.
    Remember; the Darwin award is the one you DO NOT want to win!

  • Rusty

    Winchester Model 1911 shotguns were known for their propensity to slam-fire. They were nicknamed the “Widowmaker”.

    • John Shore

      Actually, that is incorrect. The Model 1911 was named the Widowmaker due to the fact that one charged and cocked the gun by grabbing onto a knurled section of the barrel to shove it back , there being no bolt handle, which opened the bolt and chambered a round on its return via a very strong recoil spring. Many people placed the butt of the gun on the ground to get enough leverage to overpower the recoil spring, which points the muzzle UP and thus, if you weren’t careful, at your face and head. Why no bolt handle? Cool story. . . John Browning patented the idea of bolt handles, and sold the patent to FN when Winchester refused the design due to cost.

  • whodywei

    Wondering if she would jumps out of high-rise building to “help illustrate” how gravity works.

  • DelQ

    She once again proved a Forrest Gumpism…….Stupid is as stupid does

  • justme


    Right in the kisser!

  • valorius

    Look ma, no face!