Victim of Apparent Accidental Shooting in Morgan County Identified

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Authorities in Morgan County identified a woman killed in an apparent accidental shooting Monday night.

Michelle West

Michelle West was a stay-at-home mother of two young children.

She died in her home on Charest Road near Somerville, after being shot once in the chest by a .38 caliber pistol.

"[West's husband] had come home from work and was looking over a pistol that he had for sale and he was going to clean it," said Morgan County Chief Deputy Mike Corley.

He said deputies are still investigating what happened.

They did ballistics tests on the gun and they plan to be present for an autopsy on West later this week.

Corley says he expects the autopsy results will direct the next steps in the investigation.

"At this point, it is all indications that this was a tragic accident," said Corley.

What remains to be seen is the impact it will have on two young children who deputies believe were home and heard the fatal shot.

"My understanding is they were in their individual bedrooms," said Corley.

West had a 12-year-old boy from a former relationship and a six-year-old girl with the man who shot her.

Friends say West was a stay-at-home mom and had been with her common-law husband 11 years.

Deputies say there was no history of domestic violence or other problems in the home.
     
No charges have been filed at this time.  WHNT NEWS 19 is not identifying West's common law-husband by name, since he has not been charged with a crime.

No funeral arrangements have been made, as the family waits for authorities to release West's body to them for burial.

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