ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Police say a woman accidentally shot her friend after dropping her purse on the ground, forgetting that a handgun was inside it.
St. Petersburg Police say it happened Saturday night at the Starbucks located inside Tyrone Square Mall.
51-year-old Pamela Beck and her friend, 38-year-old Amie Peterson, stopped into the Starbucks to get some coffee. Investigators say Beck's arms were full with packages and and as she got out her wallet to pay, she dropped her purse. The gun inside discharged, and a bullet struck Peterson in the leg.
Peterson was treated and released from Bayfront Medical Center.
Beck told police that her father had given her the .25 caliber semi-automatic a while back and she had forgotten that she put the pistol -- which was in a small gun bag -- inside one of her spare purses. She switched purses before her shopping trip with Peterson and forgot the gun was inside the bottom of that purse.
The shooting was accidental and police have referred the case to the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office to see if charges are warranted.
Beck does not have a concealed weapons permit, but says she never intended to carry the gun in the first place.
A Starbucks spokeswoman released this statement Sunday evening:
"At Starbucks, the safety and security of our partners who are our employees and customers is our top priority. We are aware of the accident that took place and are thankful that nobody was seriously injured. We wish those involved a speedy recovery and at this time we are working with local authorities and defer any specific questions on the investigation to them."
Meanwhile, Tyrone Square Mall released this statement:
"Our primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and store employees and we are thankful that the injuries sustained are reported to be non-life threatening. Our thoughts are with the victim's family, and we wish her a speedy recovery."
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