Chicago: Woman Accidentally Shoots Herself In Back of Patrol Car

CHICAGO – Chicago police say a 20-year-old woman accidentally shot herself in the abdomen while trying to hide a gun under the back seat of a patrol car. The suspect, Tiara M. Paul, was initially stopped by officers who spotted her going from car to car on a Red Line train, while the train was moving on Saturday afternoon. At that time, police discovered she was wanted on a warrant and she was taken into custody. 

A police report states officers conducted a “light, protective pat down,” handcuffed her, and placed her in the back seat of a squad car in the 3400 block of South Wentworth Avenue. According to the report, officers then waited for a female officer to arrive to conduct a more thorough search.

As they waited, they heard a “pop” and found Paul in the backseat with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to the report. Officers then reportedly removed a loaded 25-caliber handgun from the back of the squad car. 

Paul was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Chief Juan Hernandez. While in the ambulance, Paul reportedly told an officer she was “sorry for her actions” and that she “was not trying to hurt the officers, she was only trying to pitch the gun.” 

Police say she was charged with two felonies: aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and reckless discharge of a firearm. To make matters worse, Paul also received a citation for unsafe crossing on a CTA train, police said.