Woman arrested after accidentally discharging stolen gun near police

The suspect accidentally shot a bullet through a car floorboard.
Cadillac Deville

A woman was arrested Wednesday morning after accidentally discharging a stolen gun in her vehicle and shooting a bullet through the floorboard.

A Columbia Police Officer pulled over the driver of a Cadillac Deville after he observed a female getting into an argument with the driver of a second vehicle and then making an illegal right-hand turn near Vandiver and Rangeline, according to a news release.

As he approached the scene the officer heard one gunshot, according to the news release. The woman who shot the gun has been identified as Vernita Ferguson, 45.

Ferguson told the officer the gun was hers and she accidently discharged the weapon when unloading it before he approached. The officer ran the serial number on the weapon and it came back as stolen.

Stroer said she believes Ferguson most likely unloaded the gun because she did not want the officer to find her with a loaded weapon. The round went through the floorboard where she sat. No one was injured during the shooting.

Earlier in the day, Ferguson was involved in a verbal argument with a driver of a separate vehicle in the 2400 block of Creek Edge Court. They left in different vehicles, both ending up on Range Line and Vandiver.

A CPD officer was driving around the neighborhood when he saw two vehicles stopped in traffic. According to a news release, a black female outside of one of the vehicles was yelling at the driver of the second vehicle. When the officer turned around to pull up to the vehicles they started to leave the area.

The officer pulled over one of the vehicles, a burgundy Cadillac Deville when it made an illegal right hand turn from the wrong lane. The other vehicle, a white town car, made a legal right turn beforehand, CPD Spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said.

“People discharge their gun when they’re cleaning their gun, accidentally, so it does happen if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Stroer said.

Ferguson was arrested on charges of receiving stolen property, a felony, and held with a $4,500 bond.

Stroer said CPD is still looking for the other vehicle, but they do not know what the initial argument was about or if it connected to the stolen gun.

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