Fatal shooting suspect says it was an accident, he was trying to unload gun

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on December 27, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 12:17 AM

ST. MARIES, Idaho-- The suspect in a Christmas day fatal shooting in St. Maries appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday.

Joseph Herrera was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing Stefanie Comack.

Stefanie Comack reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to the head around 11:43 a.m. in St. Maries, at a home near 14th and Jefferson.
 
She was transported to Benewah Community Hospital, and then airlifted to Kootenai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Herrara was formally charged Tuesday with second degree murder in a Benewah county courtroom. The charges could carry a life sentence.
   
Officials say he was then sent to a jail in Lewiston Idaho.

According to court documents, Herrara placed a 380 handgun against Comack's head and pulled the trigger.
   
Investigators say an autopsy took place Tuesday and showed the gun was very close to Comack’s head.
       
Sources say Herrara is shaken up and he claims the shooting was an accident. Herrara says he was trying to unload the gun when it went off.
   
Herrara is receiving second degree murder rather than first degree since the shooting was not premeditated.
   
Officials say Comack and Herrara were fighting the day she was shot.
   
Comack’s friend told KREM 2 news Herrara and Comack did not have a good relationship.

A spokesperson for Comack’s family says her parents are in shock and they are hoping all of this is just a nightmare.
 

 Bond is set at $200,000 bond set.

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