Michele Wanko took aim and fired.
The 42-year-old mother of two accidently shot and killed her husband Saturday morning during an impromptu gun lesson in the couple’s basement, NBC Philadelphia reports.
“I shot him,” Wanko reportedly told Parkside Police patrolman Brian McNeill Jr. after he arrived at their Parkside, Pa., home at 3:57 a.m.
Michael Wanko, 43, was collapsed in a hallway entrance with a gunshot wound to his upper chest. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“It was a reckless act,” Police Chief John Egan told the Delco Times. “They were drinking for hours, and they were handling firearms.”
The couple was drinking vodka and lemonade together when they went into their basement so Michael Wanko could show his wife how to use his semiautomatic pistol.
“He took several of the weapons out -- handguns -- and was demonstrating to her how the weapon worked as far as taking the magazine out, making sure it was safe and how to pull the slide back,” Egan said.
When Michael reached into the safe to grab a gun, his wife picked up another gun and pulled and let go of its slide. The gun went off and hit Michael in the chest, NBC Philadelphia reports.
The couple’s two children, ages 2 and 5, were in the house at the time of the incident. Michele’s frantic screams woke up their eldest son.
When Egan told Michele that her husband died, she grabbed his clothing as she fell to the floor, taking the police chief down with her, he told the Delco Times.
Wanko has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and possessing an instrument of crime. She has since been released on $250,000 unsecured bail. Her children are staying with relatives.
Barry Burnell, a childhood friend of Wanko, said he’s shocked by the tragic accident.
“He was a gun enthusiast, but he was also a gun-safety nut. So I just don’t understand how this happened,” Burnell said.
Originally from Montreal, Zoë Mintz joined IBTimes in March 2013. A graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, her writing has...